Nicole Dieker

Full-time freelance writer since 2012.

Author of the Larkin Day Mysteries, a comedy-cozy-mathy-nerdy-theatergeeky mystery series set in the Eastern Iowa Creative Corridor, and WHAT IT IS and WHAT TO DO NEXT, a quarterly zine about understanding reality.

Her Substack is called What I Did Yesterday.

About Nicole

Nicole Dieker is a writer, teacher, and musician. She began her writing career as a full-time freelancer with a focus on personal finance and habit formation; she launched her fiction career with The Biographies of Ordinary People, a definitely-not-autobiographical novel that follows three sisters from 1989 to 2016.

Currently, Dieker writes the Larkin Day Mysteries and the quarterly philosophy zine WHAT IT IS and WHAT TO DO NEXT, both of which are published through Shortwave Media. She also maintains an active freelance career; her work has appeared in Vox, Morning Brew, Lifehacker, Bankrate, Haven Life, Popular Science, and more. Dieker spent five years as writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money.

Dieker lives in Quincy, Illinois with the great love of her life, his piano, and their garden.


The Larkin Day mysteries

A comedy-cozy-mathy-nerdy-theater-geeky mystery series.


A quarterly zine about understanding reality.

The Biographies of Ordinary People, Volume 1

A family saga that follows three sisters from 1989 to 2016.

The Biographies of Ordinary People, Volume 2

The three Gruber sisters go from childhood to adulthood.

Reviews and Praise

Dieker writes with unrepentant honesty about the human condition.
Artful writing and delicately drawn characters who navigate through the universal tragedies and triumphs of everyday life. This first volume is deeply satisfying.
Dieker’s gift for amusing dialogue enhances the whodunit. Fans of everywoman amateur sleuths will want to see more of Larkin.
The motif of theater applied to reality blends with the detective narrative and solidifies into a surprisingly profound finale.
Dieker excels at depicting how real people think and act.
ODE TO MURDER is refreshing, and definitely recommended for fans of a good mystery. But it’s also a great read for anyone who, like Larkin, is searching for a new story that can reach them in surprising, unexpected ways.


Nicole Dieker teaches music, writing, and the business of freelancing. If you’d like to work one-on-one with Nicole—or if you’d like to hire Nicole to teach a class or lead a webinar—let her know!

Recent Freelance Articles

What higher inflation might mean for your tax bill

Your tax refund might be smaller this year — and it might have less purchasing power.

Get ready for 2023

Something is always better than nothing when it comes to saving.

How this couple runs a small business while raising six kids

Nia and Brandy bought a used school bus for $4,000 to start their mobile spa in 2016. Here’s where they are now.

How to turn a junk room into a breakfast nook

Clear out the clutter and reclaim your wasted space.