PERSONAL: Married; children: one daughter.
ADDRESSES: Home—CA; and Martha's Vineyard, MA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, William Morrow, HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Novelist, television producer, and film and television writer. Creator and writer, Get Real, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Get Real, and Suddenly Susan television programs; writer, Boomtown and Players; executive producer, Eddie Dodd.
Fall from Grace, William Morrow (New York, NY), 1998.
Blindsided, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2000.
Sacrifice, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: Clyde Phillips, a writer and creator for film and television, is the creator of the well-known TV programs Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Suddenly Susan, and Get Real. His many writing credits include scripts for television programs such as Boomtown, Get Real, Players, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, and Suddenly Susan. Phillips has also served as executive producer on Eddie Dodd, Get Real, and Players.
When Phillips turned to prose fiction writing, he embraced the mystery genre while still retaining the sense of action, style, and pacing he developed while writing for TV. His first novel, Fall from Grace, "is a decent thriller in a Hollywood sort of style," wrote Martha Moore on the Mystery Reader Web site. "The plot is reminiscent of a good TV movie and the array of characters hold their own through the tense finale," Moore commented. A Kirkus Reviews critic also called the book "TV-ish." In the novel, Phillips introduces his recurring characters, homicide detectives Jane Candiotti and Kenny Marks. Partners on the force, and sometimes partners in love, Jane and Kenny work their beat in San Francisco.
The plot in Fall from Grace centers on the wealthy Perry family. The death of patriarch Maxwell Perry means that his $65 million fortune falls to daughter Jenna. Sharing in the windfall are Jenna's husband, David, and thirteen-year-old daughter Lily. David and Jenna's marriage begins to crumble, however, when he catches her cheating on him and leaves her. In addition to their conflict over money, they clash over Lily when Jenna threatens to eliminate David's visitation rights. When Jenna is found murdered, suspicious authorities zero directly in on David, but David denies involvement in Jenna's death. Instead, he says, she was killed by Barton Hubble, a lowlife automobile mechanic who met David by chance and who murdered Jenna to initiate a blackmail campaign against David. Candiotti believes David's unlikely tale, but also finds herself getting deeper and deeper into a romance with the accused murderer. "As Hubble fumes in the background, David and Jane enjoy romantic trysts overlooking great Bay Area sights and, from time to time, fret over the mounting body count," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic.
In his novel Phillips makes good use of the landmarks of San Francisco, particularly the Golden Gate bridge. "He deftly creates the setting with a sense of foreboding—the bridge is a crucial element to the story," Moore remarked. Phillips also uses San Francisco's "favored hobby of telescope gazing across to bay to good effect," commented Barbara Conaty in a review for Library Journal. Fall from Grace was dubbed "a terrifically entertaining novel that will keep readers guessing until the last few pages," remarked Wes Lukowsky in Booklist, while a Publishers Weekly reviewer observed that "the end comes with a double surprise that provides a powerful resolution to the novel's tense action sequences and gathering suspense."
In Blindsided, a revenge-fueled killer stalks police officers whom he believes wronged him. Police incompetence and sheer injustice put Jacques Carpenter behind bars for fifteen years following his wife's death. After he gets out, Carpenter starts in on a long list of scores to settle, beginning with the grisly murder of Skip Lacey, a former police officer turned drug addict. As the murders continue, they get closer and closer to series stars Jane Candiotti and Kenny Marks—who have taken their sometimes-rocky relationship to a more serious level by moving in together. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that "Phillips cuts hard to the chase, with impressive results. The action moves in a frenzied rush, linear and refreshingly uncomplicated."
Newlyweds Jane and Kenny start their marriage in Sacrifice with a small problem—Jane's promotion to homicide lieutenant, which technically makes her Kenny's boss. Before they can come to terms with the dynamics of this new wrinkle in their relationship, the pair are assigned to investigate the murder of well-known computer entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Iverson. Jane falls under intense pressure to solve the murder, with demands placed on her from Iverson's haughty widow, the media, and her own boss. Distracting her from Iverson's murder is another case, the death of a homeless man down at the docks, who was killed in an almost ritualistic manner at nearly the same time as Iverson. If Jane "turns her attention away from the billionaire, people in power get angry," noted Cindy Lynn Speer on MostlyFiction.com, "but if she doesn't pay enough attention to the homeless victim, she's accused of ignoring him because of his race and social situation." As Jane deals with a new detective disgruntled at being assigned the dockside case, more murders of the down-on-their-luck occur—all of them connected by a large "S" scrawled in blood at the murder scenes, as well as the murder of Iverson. A Publishers Weekly reviewer stated that while "There are few surprises here, but Phillips is a skilled craftsman and follows in the footsteps of Ed McBain with this solid police procedural series." Carrie Bissey, writing in Booklist, called Sacrifice "a solid entry in a popular series."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 1998, Wes Lukowsky, review of Fall from Grace, p. 1391; May 1, 2003, Carrie Bissey, review of Sacrifice, p. 1552.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 1998, review of Fall fromGrace, p. 293; February 15, 2000, review of Blindsided, pp. 205-206; May 1, 2003, review of Sacrifice, p. 637.
Library Journal, March 15, 1998, Barbara Conaty, review of Fall from Grace, p. 95; July, 2003, Laura A. B. Cifelli, review of Sacrifice, p. 125.
Publishers Weekly, February 23, 1998, review of Fall from Grace, p. 48; February 7, 2000, review of Blindsided, p. 67; June 2, 2003, review of Sacrifice, pp. 33-34.
Bookfinder Web site,http://www.bookfinder.us/ (March 12, 2004).
Bookreporter Web site,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (March 12, 2004), Joe Hartlaub, review of Sacrifice.
BooksnBytes.com,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (March 12, 2004), Jennifer Jordan, review of Sacrifice; Harriet Klausner, review of Sacrifice and Blindsided.
Get Real Fan Club Web site,http://www.getreal.anne-hathaway.com/ (March 12, 2004), online chat transcript with Clyde Phillips.
MostlyFiction.com,http://www.mostlyfiction.com/ (March 12, 2004), Cindy Lynn Speer, review of Sacrifice.
Mystery Reader Web site,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (March 12, 2004), Martha Moore, review of Fall from Grace.
RomanticTimes.com,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (March 12, 2004), Jill M. Smith, review of Blindsided; Catherine Witmer, review of Sacrifice.
TVTome.com,http://www.tvtome.com/ (March 12, 2004), biography of Clyde Phillips.*