Adams, Deborah 1956-

views updated

ADAMS, Deborah 1956-


Born January 22, 1956, in TN. Hobbies and other interests: Horseback riding and competing in endurance races, watching sports programs on television, dance training, volunteer work for domestic violence prevention programs.


Home—Route 4, Box 664, Waverly, TN 37185. Agent—Jin Publicists, 504 Cedar Forest Ct., Nashville, TN 37221.


Novelist. Nashville State Technical Institute, adjunct faculty member as teacher of online writing courses.


Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, American Crime Writers League, Writers World Order, Appalachian Writers' Association, Kentucky State Poetry Society (officer), Green Rivers Writers' Association.


Flair and Macavity Award for All the Great Pretenders.


All the Great Pretenders, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1992.

All the Crazy Winters, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1992.

All the Dark Disguises, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1993.

All the Hungry Mothers, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1994.

All the Deadly Beloved, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1995.

All the Blood Relations, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1997.

All the Dirty Cowards: A Jesus Creek Mystery, Silver Dagger Mysteries (Johnson City, TN), 2000.

Work represented in anthologies, including Murderous Intent, Funny Bones, Murder They Wrote 2, Deadly Women, and Canine Capers.


Deborah Adams writes mystery novels set in the fictional town of Jesus Creek, Tennessee. Adams is a seventh-generation member of a Tennessee family, and she has remained in that state. In an interview published on her own Internet site devoted to mysteries, Adams was asked if she was born to write. "Well, in the way that some people are born to be botanists," she answered. "I've always loved writing and I've done all I can to improve my skills. I like to think I'm a better writer now than when I wrote my first book." In the interview, Adams said, "I don't want to sound syrupy, but I just want to write. I'd prefer to get paid for doing it, but bottom line? I don't care what you call it, I don't care what genre it fits into." Besides writing, Adams is involved in a domestic violence prevention organization, is an avid equestrian who participates in twenty-five-mile endurance races, and is a teacher of writing courses, via the Internet, through the Nashville State Technical Institute.

Adams' Jesus Creek series employs a different protagonist for each novel. In All the Dark Disguises, the heroine is Kay, a wiseacre waitress who was, at one time, a newspaper reporter. A Ginsu knife-wielding serial killer called the "Night Terror" is menacing Jesus Creek, and Kay makes it her business to track him down, putting herself in peril before the novel's end. Patrick S. Jones wrote in Kliatt that All the Dark Disguises "is never dull, but sometimes Adams' cleverness gets in the way of the mystery and suspense."

The protagonist of Adams' fourth novel, All the Hungry Mothers, is Janet Ayres, a nanny to the Leach household. The busy Sarah Elizabeth Leach, who works at a library, teaches classes at a university, and does volunteer work for a domestic violence hotline, hires Janet to care for her two-year-old. Janet befriends Mary Ann, a young mother who lives next door with a faithful husband—or so it seems. Janet learns about the horrors of domestic violence secondhand through her employer's work and firsthand through what she observes next door. A Publishers Weekly contributor called All the Hungry Mothers a "well-intentioned but ultimately unsatisfying Southern gothic."

Police Chief Robert Lee "Reb" Gussler relates a tale of murder and betrayal in All the Deadly Beloved. Patrice and Steven Gentry arrive in Jesus Creek after doing medical work in Somalia. Steven is the head of the town's medical clinic and Patrice is the much-admired second-shift nursing supervisor at the local nursing home. Steven is unfaithful, seducing several women in the town. When Patrice turns up murdered, he has a perfect alibi—he was sleeping with another woman at the time. Unfortunately, his alibi is too good—two different women claim to have been with him when Patrice was killed. Don Sandstrom commented on Adams' series in Armchair Detective, noting that Adams effectively portrays life in a small town with "humor [that] is subtle and on target rather than being a series of one-liners."



Armchair Detective, winter, 1996, Don Sandstrom, review of All the Deadly Beloved, p. 107.

Kliatt, July, 1993, Patrick S. Jones, review of All the Dark Disguises, pp. 4-5.

Publishers Weekly, April 18, 1994, review of All the Hungry Mothers, p. 59.


Deborah Adams' Internet Web Site, (July 9, 1997).

Jesus Creek Web Site, (January 6, 2003).*

About this article

Adams, Deborah 1956-

Updated About content Print Article