Nicole Dieker

Full-time freelance writer since 2012.

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

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 Millennial-aged amateur detective who practices old-fashioned sleuthing in a world of smartphones and social media.


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.

Get started with Larkin!

Sign up for Nicole Dieker’s monthly newsletter and read the first three chapters of Ode to Murder right now. 


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

Financial planning in the new year

What can you do to make 2023 your best financial year ever?

Get ready for 2023

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

How to recover after big holiday spending

Did you overspend this holiday season? Here's some advice to help you get back on track.

How a potential recession affects housing decisions

Who should buy a house now? Who shouldn't?


Nicole doesn’t have a blog. She doesn’t do social media, either. Instead, she writes longform essays about work, life, and reality in the quarterly print zine WHAT IT IS and WHAT TO DO NEXT.

Issues are $6 each, with occasional discounted bundles.

Think of it like a Substack you can hold in your hand and read without distraction. ❤