Balmain, Julianne

views updated

Balmain, Julianne

(Nadia Gordon)


ADDRESSES: HomeSan Francisco, CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Publicity Department, Chronicle Books, 85 2nd St., 6th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer.



(With Jennifer Traig) Beauty: Things to Make and Do (juvenile), Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2001.

(With Jennifer Traig) Cool Stuff: Things to Make and Do (juvenile), Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2001.


Sharpshooter, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2002.

Death by the Glass, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2003.

Murder Alfresco, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2005.


The Queen's Amulet (juvenile), illustrated by Matilda Harrison, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1999.

Office Kama Sutra: Being a Guide to Delectation & Delight in the Workplace (humor), illustrated by Thorina Rose, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2001.

Abroad: A Travel Organizer and Journal, illustrated by Bas De Graf, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2001.

The Kama Sutra Deck: 50 Ways to Love Your Lover, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2004.

Kama Sutra Journal, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2005.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Book four in the "Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley" series.

SIDELIGHTS: Under her own name and a pseudonym, Julianne Balmain has written a variety of books, including mysteries, juvenile titles, and adult humor, all for San Francisco-based publisher Chronicle Books. Balmain is perhaps best known for publishing, as Nadia Gordon, the "Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery" series, about California café owner and chef, Sunny McCoskey. The plot of series debut Sharpshooter revolves around the murder of a famous vineyard owner and Sunny's efforts to prove her friend innocent of the crime. Robyn Glazer, writing on the Romantic Times Web site, found the locale and plot attractive, and called it an "attention-grabbing read, as Gordon combines a smart mystery with interesting details about wine." On the other hand, a Kirkus Reviews contributor expressed some reservations, describing the novel as "long on Napa Valley culture, short on logical deduction," yet a "pleasant debut." More laudatory were Booklist reviewer Barbara Bibel, who dubbed Sharpshooter "a promising debut with a strong plot and colorful characters," and Rex Klett, reviewing it for Library Journal, who wrote: "The attractive locales, sturdy plot, and interesting characters make this initial entry in a new series a good choice for regional and larger public libraries."

In Death by the Glass, which Klett called "a likable second" in Library Journal, Balmain recounts Sunny's involvement in the case of a murdered restaurant owner because her new lover has been accused of the crime. "Sunny's adventures offer readers an amusing romp in the culinary underworld," wrote Bibel in Booklist, while a Kirkus Reviews writer decided that "Sunny's neurotic habit of sticking her toque where it doesn't belong is the only sour note among the otherwise delectable details."



Booklist, June 1, 2002, Barbara Bibel, review of Sharpshooter, p. 1691; August, 2003, Barbara Bibel, review of Death by the Glass, p. 1960.

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2002, review of Sharpshooter, p. 707; July 15, 2003, review of Death by the Glass, p. 939; April 1, 2005, review of Murder Alfresco, p. 387.

Library Journal, July, 2002, Rex Klett, review of Sharpshooter, p. 125; August, 2003, Rex Klett, review of Death by the Glass, p. 140.

Publishers Weekly, August 2, 1999, The Queen's Amulet, p. 86; October 1, 2001, "Getting down to Business," review of Office Kama Sutra: Being a Guide to Delectation & Delight in the Workplace, p. 53.

Teen, July, 2001, review of Cool Stuff: Things to Make and Do, p. 105.


Nadia Gordon Home Page, (August 18, 2005).

Reviewing the Evidence, (October 8, 2005), Barbara Buhrer, review of Death by the Glass.

Romantic Times Online, (August 18, 2005), Robyn Glazer, review of Sharpshooter; Kim Colley, review of Death by the Glass.