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Kelly Moore is an American author and former attorney. Her 1988 book Deadly Medicine, which focused on the crimes and trial of serial killer Genene Jones, was a New York Times bestseller for seven weeks.[1] Amber House, the first installment in her young adult fiction series, co-written with her daughters Tucker Reed and Larkin Reed, was published by Scholastic's Arthur A. Levine Books imprint on October 1, 2012.

Kelly Moore
BornKelly Sheelagh Moore
(1956-08-30) August 30, 1956 (age 62)
Manchester Township, New Jersey
Lawyer (retired)
Alma materSanta Clara University,
University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Notable worksDeadly Medicine (1988),
Amber House (2012),
Neverwas (2014)
SpouseDan Reed (divorced)
ChildrenTucker Reed,
Larkin Reed,
St. John Reed


Moore was born at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey, site of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster, on August 30, 1956, the fourth child of Commander Lundi Addison Moore and his wife Delores "Lore" Moore (née Pike). The family relocated constantly throughout Moore's youth, finally settling in California. There Moore attended Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California, and then Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. According to interviews, Moore became fascinated by the nearby Winchester Mystery House during her time in the city; Sarah Winchester's infamous mansion would later influence Moore's first novel, Amber House.[2]

Moore pursued a law degree, graduating from UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law in 1982. She relocated to Los Angeles to practice civil and family law. At a holiday party in 1983, a mutual friend introduced Moore to actor Daniel Reed; the two would go on to co-write the New York Times bestseller Deadly Medicine, moving to Texas in 1984 to research and investigate the sixty infant deaths associated with pediatric nurse and convicted killer Genene Jones.[3] The couple worked closely with one of the leading investigators of the case, who helped the writers to shed light on the administrative failings of San Antonio's Medical Center Hospital.[1]

The couple's first child, Tucker Reed, was born in Los Gatos, California, in 1989, two days before the Loma Prieta earthquake that devastated the Bay Area. In 1991, a feature-length television adaptation of Deadly Medicine aired on NBC, starring Susan Ruttan and Veronica Hamel.[4][5] At this time, Moore and Reed attempted to adapt Amber House into a television show. When the two failed to sell the project on their own, Reed suggested Moore approach his sister-in-law, Maureen Grady, in 1994. Moore collaborated for a time with Grady and Grady's friend actress Nancy Harewood, but the project was abandoned by 1997.[2]

In August 1994, Moore began work at T. Patrick Freydl & Associates; among the clients represented by the firm was Guess model and Playboy Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith. Together, both Moore and Smith parted company with Freydl in the spring of 1995, with Smith retaining Moore as her personal representative. Moore represented Smith on a number of cases (including Smith v. New Yorker Magazine, Harry Winston v. Smith, Cerrato v. Smith).[6][7][8][9] Anna Nicole Smith's battle with her stepson, E. Pierce Marshall over claims on her late husband's estate, Moore brought Marshall v. Marshall (the landmark case that would be argued before the Supreme Court in 2006) to the law firm of Kinsella, Boesch, Fujikawa and Towle. In 2011, Supreme Court of the United States ruled against the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, the Playboy Playmate whose marriage to the Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall, 63 years her senior, led to an epic set of lawsuits between Smith and her stepson. The Justices overturned the bankruptcy court award to Smith's estate, that at one point exceeded $400 million.[10] In August, 2014, Federal Judge David O. Carter, in Orange County, ruled Smith's estate would not receive $44 million from her stepson's estate, stating there was "just no evidence before the court that justifies awarding sanctions against Pierce Marshall's estate."[11]

Moore had left the Smith case in 1998, divorced Reed in 2000, and retired from practicing law. Awarded primary custody of her three children (Larkin, born in 1993, and John, born in 1996), Moore moved to Oregon.[12] In 2009, Moore's eldest, Tucker, began to research Moore's genealogy, which can be traced through Commander Moore to Stephen Hopkins, Jamestown colonist and signer of the Mayflower Compact.[13] Tucker located a box in the family attic which held Moore and Reed's earliest notes on and drafts of the Amber House story. Believing the concept well-suited for young adult literature, Tucker persuaded her mother to collaborate on a novel; Moore's daughter Larkin was later included in the collaboration, as well.[2] The ladies sold their novel (and two sequels) to the Arthur A. Levine imprint of Scholastic Press in 2011. Amber House was released to positive reviews on October 1, 2012.[14][15][16][17] Its sequels, Neverwas and Otherwhen, were slated for 2014 and 2015, respectively.[18][19] The authors have since announced via Twitter that the trilogy has expanded to include a fourth book, tentatively titled Ever Shall.

In September 2015, Moore's older brother, Patrick Shannon "Shane" Moore, a felon with a history of drug manufacture and distribution, as well as drug abuse, and alleged solicitation and violence against women, assaulted Moore's daughter Tucker in Jacksonville, Oregon.[20][21] In July 2016, Moore was present and bore witness to the fatal shooting of her brother as he attempted to break and enter their mother's home, despite a "no contact" (restraining) order in place since the September 2015 assault of Moore's daughter, which had not yet gone to trial.[21] On July 27, Moore was photographed by local media on the Jackson County Courthouse steps covered in bruises, and stated her brother attacked her on July 26 and her daughter Tucker "was protecting [Moore] during the shooting."[22] According to a July 2016 article by Nick Morgan of the Mail Tribune, Moore "said she and her daughter had lived in fear of Shane Moore since January [2016] and that Reed tried to protect her after Shane began assaulting Kelly the night of the shooting." Moore also stated, "I'd hate for people to think my daughter is a killer, because she's not," Kelly Moore said, adding that Reed was in "terrible" fear at the time.[23]



  1. ^ a b Moore, Kelly; Reed, Dan (1988). Deadly Medicine. St. Martin's. ISBN 0312915799.
  2. ^ a b c "The Origins of Amber House". 20 November 2013. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  3. ^ "TV MOVIE BASED ON MURDER CASE M.H. AUTHORS WROTE ABOUT TEXAS NURSE". San Jose Mercury News. November 11, 1991. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  4. ^ "TV REVIEW: Deadly Medicine (1991)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Deadly Medicine (1991)". Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Ex-Baby-Sitter to Get Default Judgment from Anna Nicole Smith". Associated Press. Los Angeles. 18 August 1995. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Anna Nicole Smith settles suit against New York Magazine". PR Newswire. 24 August 1995. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Anna Nicole Smith crying money blues". The Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. 31 January 1996. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  9. ^ Caruso, Michelle; Siemaszko, Corky (1 February 1996). "Ex-Playmate Anna Nicole Smith Goes Bust". New York Daily News. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Anna Nicole Smith's Estate Loses Supreme Court Case". The New York Times, Adam Liptak, June 24, 2011.
  11. ^ "Anna Nicole Smith's Estate Denied Again: Judge says Dannielynn Birkhead Won't Receive $44m". E!Online, August 20, 2014.
  12. ^ "Kelly Moore". Amazon. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  13. ^ Roy, Leila (11 October 2012). "The Complex Mysteries of Kelly Moore's "Amber House"". Kirkus Reviews. New York: Kirkus Media LLC. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Review: Amber House". Booklist. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Amber House". 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
  16. ^ a b "Amber House, starred review". 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  17. ^ a b Quealy-Gainer, Kate (November 2012). "Amber House (review)". Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. 66 (3): 159. doi:10.1353/bcc.2012.0924. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  18. ^ "Amber House". Retrieved 2013-04-25.
  19. ^ "About the Authors". Retrieved 2013-04-25.
  20. ^ 16CR00543 State of Oregon vs SHANE PATRICK MOORE
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^ "Woman pleads not guilty in uncle's homicide". Mail Tribune. Medford. August 2, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  23. ^ Morgan, Nick (July 29, 2016). "Mother of alleged shooter says she lived in fear". Mail Tribune. Medford. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  24. ^ "DEADLY MEDICINE". LA Times. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  25. ^ "Neverwas". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 27 November 2013.