Krieg, Joyce 1950-

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KRIEG, Joyce 1950-

PERSONAL: Born 1950, in Dayton, OH. Education: San Jose State University, B.A. (journalism), 1972.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Jimmy Vines, The Vines Agency, Inc., 409 East Sixth St., Suite 4, New York, NY 10019. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: Journalist, radio announcer, and novelist. Woodland Daily Democrat, Woodland, CA, reporter, 1972-78; Earth Radio 102, broadcaster, 1976-78; KFBK NewsTalk 1530, Sacramento, CA, news anchor then promotion manager, 1978-93; Public Broadcast System, Sacramento, staff announcer, 1980-86.

MEMBER: Sacramento Valley Broadcast Legends.

AWARDS, HONORS: Sacramento Public Relations Professional of the Year, 1993; St. Martin's Press/Malice Domestic Contest for Best First Traditional Mystery, 2002, for Murder off Mike.


Murder off Mike, St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2003.

Columnist for Sacramento Jazz Jubilee publications.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A second novel featuring Shauna J. Bogart, scheduled for publication in 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Novelist Joyce Krieg might have been a character in an offbeat mystery, making one last attempt to attain a lifelong dream when she entered her many-times-rejected manuscript in a contest sponsored by St. Martin's Press and the mystery writers group Malice Domestic. After years struggling as a writer, and having lost her longtime job in radio through corporate consolidation, Krieg suddenly saw the tide turn when she won the contest. Her debut mystery draws on her years in the world of talk radio. "I pretty much gave up on that mystery I wrote about talk radio," Krieg noted on her Web site. "Then one day while Web surfing, I ran across a notice about a contest. . . . I figured I'd give it one last try, entered the novel that would become Murder off Mike in the contest," and won.

Published in 2003, Murder off Mike is a mystery set largely in Krieg's home base of Sacramento, California, and uses the city's annual Jazz Jubilee Festival as a backdrop. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote: "So vividly does the author describe the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee and the streets and heat of the city in May, one can hear the music, feel the crowds." Krieg's novel revolves around the novelist's admitted alter ego, top-rated radio talk-show host Shauna J. Bogart. Bogart is used to receiving strange calls while on the air, but when a caller named Rudy tells her that "brown suits" killed a man at the same address of her radio mentor, Dr. Hipster, she investigates. Although the cops called it a suicide, Bogart has other ideas.

Connie Fletcher observed in Booklist that "Krieg's debut reads like the work of a seasoned mystery writer—in many ways, in fact, it reads better than the work of many genre veterans. . . . And Krieg handles plot twists and turns with panache." Fletcher joined other critics in praising Krieg's protagonist, noting that "her heroine is . . . a quirky, well-fleshed-out creation," while a Kirkus reviewer referred to Bogart as "funny, feisty . . . brash, brainy, on the cusp of forty, and as politically incorrect as the law allows." Fletcher added: "Krieg's absorbing mystery couples well with her terrific insider account of talk radio (e. g., 'Never take calls from women named after months or flowers')." Krieg, encouraged by the positive reviews of her book, was hard at work on a new Shauna J. Bogart adventure by 2003.

Krieg told CA: "I almost can't remember a time when I didn't yearn to be a writer. I was a 'reading' child, devouring Nancy Drews, the Oz books, Louisa May Alcott, the Little House Books, etc., etc., and I thought it would be the most magical and special thing to actually be that person who creates these wonderful tales and shares them with the world.

"As far as my writing process goes, I spend a lot of time daydreaming and musing (other people would call it goofing off) before I actually sit down at the keyboard. I'm an outliner and always have to know exactly how the story is going to end before I can write the beginning. Once I'm actually sitting down in the front of the computer, I find that antique jazz in my Walkman, music from the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s, keeps my fingers flying and fuels the creative process.

"Besides entertainment and escape, I hope my themes will perhaps make readers think a little bit about what we've lost in our popular culture with the consolidation of the nation's radio stations into a few big corporations. I think it's very sad that we've lost all the localism and competition, and just everything that made radio fun and exciting to listen to. I hope my readers will agree.



Booklist, February 15, 2003, Connie Fletcher, review of Murder off Mike, p. 1053.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2003, review of Murder off Mike, p. 190.

Publishers Weekly, March 24, 2003, review of Murder off Mike, p. 62.

USA Today, May 19, 2003, David Montgomery, review of Murder off Mike.


Joyce Krieg Web site, (July 15, 2003).

Mystery Ink, (July 15, 2003), review of Murder off Mike.