Betty Kerr Orlemann, the daughter of a book editor for a major publishing house, grew up in a home filled with good books. This atmosphere fostered a love of reading and writing, and Betty spent much of her life as a journalist. Until her retirement in 2002, she was a staff writer for the Bucks County Courier Times, where she worked the criminal courts beat at the county seat in Doylestown.
Since then, she has freelanced as a stringer and columnist for several regional newspapers, including a long-running column for the Delaware Valley News and features for The Morning Call (Allentown) and the Bucks County Herald. She also hosted her own radio show on WDVR-FM, Sergeantsville, New Jersey.
Betty’s other activities — teaching ballroom dance in Philadelphia, working as a medical technician, co-owning a gift and antiques shop, and serving as the first woman president of the Greater Glenside Chamber of Commerce — have served as grist for her idea mill. And what grist it is. She also acted with the Wyncote Players, a little theater group, since age 16.
Betty founded The Friends of the Delaware Canal, and continues to serve on the group’s advisory board. She is also a board member of the National Heritage Corridor and a member of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. She’s an enthusiastic member of the Delaware Valley chapter of Sisters In Crime, a professional networking group for women mystery writers. Betty is an equally energetic member of the Red Hat Society, an organization of women committed to meeting middle age with humor, verve and élan.
Betty was married for 48 years to Bob Orlemann, who passed on in 2001. They had four children together. Three of these — two sons and a daughter — reached maturity and eventually made them grandparents. Today, Betty enjoys a passel of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
And now, Betty is a full-time freelance writer. Her latest project is a series of murder mystery novels centering around her alter-ego, Hattie Farwell. Like Hattie, Betty is 80 years old. And like Hattie, Betty lives with a dog and two cats in a cedar woods in Tinicum Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. There, she’s currently working on The Corpse in the Quarry, the seventh title in her Hattie Farwell mystery series.