Deverell, Diana 1948-
DEVERELL, Diana 1948-
PERSONAL: Born May 19, 1948, in Eugene, OR; daughter of Robert William (a banker) and Suzanne (a homemaker; maiden name, Stickels) Deverell; married (divorced, 1981); married Mogens Pedersen (a teacher), May 9, 1986; children: Per Ulrich, Christian, Margrethe Deverell Pedersen. Education: Stanford University, B.A., 1970; attended University of Main at Orono, 1979-81.
CAREER: Administrative director of nonprofit agency in Skowhegan, ME, 1976-81; U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, foreign service officer, 1981-89, assigned to San Salvador, El Salvador, and Warsaw, Poland.
MEMBER: International Association of Crime Writers (North American Branch; member of executive board, 1999-2003).
AWARDS, HONORS: Pacific Northwest Writers Conference Prize for genre novels, 1995.
Twelve Drummers Drumming, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1998.
Night on Fire, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1999.
East Past Warsaw (e-book), iPublish, 2001.
Contributor to periodicals, including Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, A Quiet Cup (with Feet Up), Duckabush Journal, Foreign Service Journal, Mostly Maine, Raconteur, and Register-Guard.
Deverell's novels have been published in Dutch, Estonian, and Japanese translation.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Currently working on short fiction.
SIDELIGHTS: After working as a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State, Diana Deverell gained more than enough firsthand knowledge to pen two successful books—Twelve Drummers Drumming and Night on Fire—about State Department counter-terrorism officer Casey Collins.
Twelve Drummers Drumming introduces main character Collins, a counterterrorist specialist who suddenly finds herself the suspect in an airplane bombing. Forced to flee to Europe while struggling to prove her innocence, Collins is caught up in the search for her lover, Stefan, whom she suspects may have been on the unfortunate plane when it exploded. V. Louise Saylor, reviewing Deverell's fiction debut in Library Journal, called Twelve Drummers Drumming "fast-paced," while Stephanie Zvirin in Booklist stated, "Here's a title to add to your short list of espionage stories with female protagonists." While praising the novel's suspense, Zvirin did have one caveat: "It's a good thing she had the foresight to provide a key; readers may need it to keep the players straight as the action speeds along."
Deverell's second novel, Night on Fire, revisits heroine Collins as she once again finds herself mixed up in scandal. After discovering a dead motorcyclist—a member of the notorious Bandidos biker gang—in her Denmark apartment, Collins realizes the bikers are somehow connected to the group of Stinger missiles she has been sent to Denmark to retrieve. While the Bandidos fight the Hell's Angels for control of the European black market, Collins must find a way to successfully accomplish her mission, all the while trying to outsmart a deadly assassin who is hot on her heels. Called "a suspense-filled, action-packed story with plenty of authentic touches" by Emily Melton in Booklist, Night on Fire was also given a slight critical reservation; as Melton continued, while Deverell's "plotting wears thin in places, . . . overall, this is a satisfying international thriller." A reviewer in Publishers Weekly called the book's "engaging narrative" an "adroit blend of soap opera and action-adventure, with the human relationships sharing center stage with the gripping mystery and the wily plot twists."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 1998, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Twelve Drummers Drumming, p. 1731; June 1, 1999, Emily Melton, review of Night on Fire, p. 1799.
Library Journal, July, 1998, V. Louise Saylor, review of Twelve Drummers Drumming, p. 135.
Publishers Weekly, June 29, 1998, review of TwelveDrummers Drumming, p. 37; June 28, 1999, review of Night on Fire, p. 54.
Diana Deverell Web site,http://www.dianadeverell.com/ (January 28, 2004).*