Married December 3, 1947; husband's name Jim (died, 2007).
Writer. Freelancer and columnist, North Shelby Times.
Welcome to Lazarus, Xlibris, 2000.
Recycling Humanity, Xlibris, 2001.
Memphis in Our Hearts, Zumaya Publications (Austin, TX), 2003.
Once Burned, Zumaya Publications (Austin, TX), 2005.
The Devil in Maryvale, Bookman Publishing, 2005.
The Nelson Scandal, Airleaf Publishing (Martinsville, IN), 2006.
Spanish Eyes, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2007.
Recipe for Trouble, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2007.
Also author of the blog Jackie Griffey.
Novelist Jackie Griffey's work spans a variety of genres, ranging from romance and mystery to comedy. Her books include Welcome to Lazarus,Recycling Humanity, Memphis in Our Hearts, Once Burned, The Devil in Maryvale, The Nelson Scandal, Spanish Eyes, and Recipe for Trouble. "I write mostly mysteries, because that's what I like to read," the author revealed in an interview for the Writer's Life Web site. I enjoy romance-suspense also, and of course, anything with humor…. I know I've missed my chance to grow up to be Mary Higgins Clark, but I'm selling some books—and several people in my home town have bought them all and are waiting on my next book—bless-em!"
Welcome to Lazarus begins with peripatetic reporter Bob Smith suffering car trouble in the small town of Lazarus, Arkansas. During his stop he discovers that the town harbors a secret: the people in it seem to be blessed with perpetual youth. Determined to investigate, Smith begins inquiries—only to end up in Little Rock with a twenty-four-hour gap in his memory and no idea of what happened or how he left the town. Soon he returns to Lazarus, seeking his lost memories, and the girl whose face has haunted him since he left the town. "Danger and love await him," explained Griffey on her author blog, "as he searches for those lost hours."
Recycling Humanity takes a "Dirty Old Men"-style look at the careers of a retired surgeon (Martin) and a financier (Aaron), who have been railroaded out of their jobs before they were ready to leave. Martin has seen his position eliminated by a reorganization at the hospital where he was chief surgeon; Aaron is being chased by a daughter-in-law hungry to get her hands on his financial assets. "Martin and Aaron gleefully toss out all rules except Martin's oath and the Ten Commandments," Griffey explained, "and they start ‘recycling humanity’ as it crosses their paths."
Memphis in Our Hearts is a post-Civil War romance novel that traces the fortunes of three local families— the Allens, the Suttons, and the LaMeres. Jamai Allen, the female protagonist, determines to have a life she can call her own and to establish her own sense of stability in a Southern town wracked by a yellow fever epidemic. She begins work as a decorator, but she has not reckoned on falling in love with the self-assured publisher Lou Sutton. Their adventures together take them across the postwar Midwest. "Step back in time," Griffey invited readers on her Web page, "as the lovers face all the challenges thrown at them and take our hearts along with them."
The mysteries The Devil in Maryvale, The Nelson Scandal, and Recipe for Trouble all are set in contemporary small-town Tennessee. The Devil in Maryvale tells of Sheriff Cas Larkin and his struggle to solve the nasty murder of a high-school-aged girl. In the course of his investigations, he also uncovers a secret organization that looks (at least at first) like a devil-worshiping cult. He also is charged with discovering who has taken up cattle-rustling from local farmers. In The Nelson Scandal, Sheriff Larkin has to deal with two murder victims while managing his campaign for reelection. At the same time, his wife, Connie, has begun an investigation of her own—into the history of Maryvale and its romantic founder, Mary Lou Nelson. "Cas and Connie use hot clues and cold paper trails in their investigation of four murders," Griffey wrote in her author blog, "two of them more than a hundred years old." Recipe for Trouble tells how Cas and Connie step in when a locally famous cookbook author comes down with food poisoning. "It's not until she's taken to the hospital," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "that Cas steps in and, with help from his network of friends, hunts down a clever killer."
Once Burned and Spanish Eyes are both contemporary romances. The first novel explores the entanglement of insurance claims adjuster Chris Lovell and the mysterious dark-haired man she encounters wherever she goes. Spanish Eyes is the story of Mexican immigrant Eleana Castillo, who arrives in the United States looking for her brother Carlos. She also has to deal with her younger brother and pregnant sister-in-law, who have illegally crossed the border hoping to have their child in the United States—and with the attentions of local artist and teacher Oliver Avery. "Griffey," declared Booklist contributor Patty Engelmann, "reels off an old-fashioned love story that embraces and illuminates the plight of legal and illegal immigrant workers."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July 1, 2007, Patty Engelmann, review of Spanish Eyes, p. 41.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2007, review of Recipe for Trouble.
MBR Bookwatch, May 2007, Harriet Klausner, review of Recipe for Trouble.
Jackie Griffey Home Page,http://www.webspawner.com/users/webspawnerjacspromo (November 27, 2007), reviews of Recycling Humanity, Memphis in Our Hearts, The Devil in Maryville, and The Nelson Scandal.
Writer's Life,http://thewriterslife.blogspot.com/ (November 27, 2007), "Interview with Jackie Griffey, Author of The Devil in Maryville."
Zumaya Publications,http://www.zumayapublications.com/ (November 27, 2007), description of Once Burned.