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Romance writer Janet Dailey dies at 69

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 11:15 a.m. CST

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Romance writer Janet Dailey, whose books have sold more than 325 million copies worldwide, has died at her southwest Missouri home. She was 69.

Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home in Branson said Dailey died Saturday in the music resort town. A coroner had not released the cause of death as of Monday, and the funeral home reported that the family said only that Dailey died “peacefully.”

Born and raised in Iowa, Dailey moved to Branson in 1978 with her husband, Bill Dailey, who was credited with helping build the town into an entertainment mecca.

Dailey’s novels included the popular “Calder” series and her Americana series — 50 books, one set in each state. Her website lists 155 works, including single novels and short story collections as well as the two series.

A perennial fixture on best-seller lists, Dailey saw her books translated into 19 languages. Her latest, “Merry Christmas, Cowboy,” ranked 13th on Publishers Weekly’s adult mass market best-seller list in early October.

Dailey’s career hit a rough spot in 1997 when she was sued for copyright infringement by another best-selling author, Nora Roberts. Dailey admitted that two of her novels — 1991’s “Aspen Gold” and 1996’s “Notorious” — contained ideas and passages borrowed from Roberts’ works.

Dailey apologized in 1997, saying the plagiarism occurred when her husband was undergoing cancer surgery and she was under immense stress. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 1998 for an undisclosed sum.

Bill Dailey had been treated for pancreatic cancer and died in 2005 at the age of 76.

Funeral services are scheduled at 10 a.m. Thursday in Williams Memorial Chapel on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.

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