Marks, Jeffrey 1960-

views updated

MARKS, Jeffrey 1960-

PERSONAL: Born October 8, 1960, in Georgetown, OH; son of Gerald (a production engineer), and Barbara (an optician; maiden name, Cummins) Marks; married V. L. Shaefer, July 7, 1990 (divorced). Education: Miami University, B.S., 1983; Xavier University, M.B.A., 1986. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Methodist. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting antiques, tae kwon do.

ADDRESSES: Home—5470 Asbury Lake, #27, Cincinnatti, OH 45247. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: General Electric, Cincinnati, OH, systems analyst, 1983-99; Tech Decisions, staff writer, 1999-2001; freelance writer, 1999—.

MEMBER: Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime.

AWARDS, HONORS: Barnes and Noble award, 1997, for "Talked to Death"; Anthony Award, 2001.


(Editor) Canine Crimes, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 1998.

(Editor) Canine Christmas, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor) Magnolias and Mayhem, Silver Dagger Mysteries (Johnson City, TN), 2000.

Who Was That Lady?: Craig Rice: The Queen of Screwball Mystery, Delphi Books (Lee's Summit, MO), 2001.

The Ambush of My Name, Silver Dagger Mysteries (Johnson City, TN), 2001.

(Editor) Craig Rice, Murder, Mystery, and Malone, Crippen and Landru (Norfolk, VA), 2002.

Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Novel, Deadly Alibi Press, 2002.

A Good Soldier, Silver Dagger Mysteries (Johnson City, TN), 2003.

Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s and 1950s, Delphi Books (Lee's Summit, MO), 2003.

Criminal Appetites, Silver Dagger Mysteries (Johnson City, TN), 2003.

Some Hidden Thunder, Silver Dagger Mysteries (Johnson City, TN), 2004.

Contributor of short stories to periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS: When Jeffrey Marks was twelve years old, he read a collection of mystery writer Agatha Christie's short stories, The Underdog and Other Stories. By the time he was sixteen he had read all of Christie's numerous mysteries and had begun collecting first editions of mysteries.

Marks worked on his high school and college newspapers, and began working as a freelance writer. His first book-length work was a profile of mystery writer Craig Rice, Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice: The Queen of Screwball Mysteries. Craig Rice was the pseudonym of Georgina Craig Rice, known for her comedic mysteries as well as for the tragedy of her life. Abandoned by her parents, Craig Rice became an alcoholic and had a series of abusive marriages before dying early at age forty-nine. In Publishers Weekly, a reviewer praised Marks's dedication to depicting Craig Rice's life.

He followed this with his first mystery novel, The Ambush of My Name. Set in Georgetown, Ohio, in the fall after the end of the U.S. Civil War, it stars Ulysses S. Grant, who is returning to his boyhood home. Grant expects to be greeted with parades and fanfare, but instead finds a body in his hotel room. Evidence indicates that the murder is connected to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. In addition, the corpse has Confederate money in its pockets, and Grant finds out that Confederates are nearby. Grant investigates the crime, and finds out that he is not welcomed by everyone in town; someone is trying to turn his homecoming into a trap, and also sabotage his running in the impending presidential election.

Marks's second book, A Good Soldier, also stars Grant. Grant travels with his family to Bethel, Ohio, to visit friends he knew from his time at West Point. He is startled to find that, in a time of great poverty and need, they are mysteriously rich; further mystery ensues when he finds that people in the town are dying at an alarming rate. Grant must solve the mystery of the money in order to prevent further deaths in the town.

Canine Crimes, edited by Marks, is a collection of short mystery stories featuring dogs that help solve the crimes, and Marks's anthology Canine Christmas is a collection of mystery stories set during the Christmas season that also feature four-legged sleuths.

Marks told CA: "I've always wanted to be a writer, from the time that I could put pen to paper. Since then, it's been my dream, and I count myself lucky to have gotten this far in my chosen field. I write mysteries because I have loved them since I was a child. I write about Ulysses Grant as I am from the same home town as he is."



Booklist, May 15, 2002, David Platt, review of Murder,Mystery, and Malone, p. 1580.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002, p. 458.

Publishers Weekly, March 26, 2001, review of WhoWas That Lady?: Craig Rice: The Queen of Screwball Mystery, p. 84; May 14, 2001, review of The Ambush of My Name, p. 57.


Jeffrey Marks Web site, (July 24, 2002).