Romance novelist who penned 'The Wrong Husband' charged in murder of her husband

Romance novelist Nancy Crampton-Brophy is facing a charge of murder with a firearm. (Photo: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

Some writers are known to have pretty sketchy search histories. “Does lime really decompose a body?” “How do people get away with murder?” “How much (insert illicit drug) does it take to overdose?” PSA to the NSA: It’s for research! Things aren’t always as they appear.

As the old adage says, writers should stick with “writing what you know.” But in this case, author Nancy Crampton-Brophy, 68, may have taken her research too far as she’s now accused of killing her husband.

On June 2, police were called to the Oregon Culinary Institute, where students had found 63-year-old Daniel Brophy — the lead instructor and the author’s husband — shot inside. He died at the scene, the Portland Police Bureau said.

A day later, Crampton-Brophy wrote a message on Facebook saying, “For my facebook friends and family, I have sad news to relate. My husband, and best friend, Chef Dan Brophy was killed yesterday morning. … I’m struggling to make sense of everything right now. … While I appreciate all of your loving responses, I am overwhelmed. Please save phone calls for a few days until I can function.”

In a twist fit for the author’s suspense books, Crampton-Brophy was arrested on Wednesday at her home in connection with the murder. She appeared in court for the first time on Thursday.

She’s facing one charge of murder with a firearm constituting domestic violence, according to the Multnomah District Attorney’s Office.

The 68-year-old shared fond messages about her husband on her “about me” page on her personal website. “I can’t tell you when I fell in love with my husband, but I relate the moment I decided to marry him. I was in the bath. It was a big tub. I expected him to join me and when he was delayed, I called out, ‘Are you coming?’

“His answer convinced me he was Mr. Right. ‘Yes, but I’m making hors d’oeuvres.’ Can you imagine spending the rest of your life without a man like that?”

She writes about her 26-year marriage, “Like all marriages, we’ve had our ups and downs, more good times than bad.”

Crampton-Brophy is the author of several romance/suspense novels, including Hell On The Heart, The Wrong Series (which includes the title The Wrong Husband), and a nonfiction workbook titled Plotting Your Story Arc, some of which are available on Amazon, and a few are free to download on Kindle.

The author writes on her website, “Give me a story that makes me laugh [and] makes me cry. But above all give me a happy ending.”

“In writing fiction, you dig deep and unearth portions of your own life that you’ve long forgotten or had purposely buried deep,” her author page said. “Granted, sometimes it is smarter to change the ending.”

Crampton-Brophy is due back in court on Sept. 17. Police have not yet released a motive for the killing.

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