Valerie Wilson Wesley (born November 22, 1947) is an African-American author of mysteries, adult-theme novels, and children's books, and a former executive editor of Essence magazine. She is the author of the Tamara Hayle mystery series. Her writings, both fiction and non-fiction, have also appeared in numerous publications, including Essence, Family Circle, TV Guide, Ms., The New York Times, and the Swiss weekly magazine Die Weltwoche.
Wesley was born in Connecticut. She graduated from Howard University and earned masters degrees from the Bank Street College of Education and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She is married to playwright Richard Wesley and the mother of two daughters.