PERSONAL: Born in CA; married a college professor; children: two. Education: Attended Mills College.
ADDRESSES: Home—CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Durban House Publishing, 7502 Greenville Ave., Ste. 500, Dallas, TX 75243. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer, editor, novelist, and public speaker.
MEMBER: Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Mystery Women of the UK.
"MARGOT O'BANION" MYSTERY SERIES; NOVELS
Final Cut, Deadly Alibi Press (Vancouver, WA), 2000.
Grape Noir, Deadly Alibi Press (Vancouver, WA), 2001.
Bad Actors, Deadly Alibi Press (Vancouver, WA), 2002.
Last Words, Deadly Alibi Press (Vancouver, WA), 2004.
Extreme Cuisine, Durban House Publishing Company, Inc. (Dallas, TX), 2005.
Also author of short stories and articles about writing. First fiction editor of Futures Mysterious Anthology magazine.
ADAPTATIONS: Grape Noir was adapted as a screenplay.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer, novelist, and editor Kit Sloane is also a public speaker who frequently addresses writing groups on topics related to publishing and writing fiction. She "especially likes mentoring new writers," noted a biographer on the Kit Sloane home page.
Sloane's mystery novels feature recurring main characters Margot O'Banion, a Hollywood film editor, and Max Skull, her lover/companion, a film director. In Sloane's debut novel, Final Cut, Skull, filming in a remote northern California valley, works feverishly to complete his latest film while O'Banion edits the work as it is finished. The production crew faces the typical problems of ever-increasing expenses, abbreviated filming schedules, and heightened anxiety. Adding to the tension is what appears to be an attempt to sabotage the film, with evidence inexplicably pointing to noted—and deceased—film critic Amory Evans. In between the cutting and splicing, O'Banion takes on the role of amateur detective to ferret out the answers to the mystery. Although Booklist reviewer David Pitt found fault with the novel's plot, he recommended that readers "give this series a chance; there's talent here, and it's a good bet that Sloane will keep getting better." In addition, Pitt observed that the book will appeal to readers who are also motion picture fans.
In Grape Noir, the second installment in the series, Margo and Max are vacationing in the wine country of California. While there, they witness the poisoning of a woman during a wine tasting. The news of the woman's death could mean financial troubles for the prominent winery, and the argumentative and irascible man who owns it is determined that his business will not suffer any damage from the tragedy. When the owner's executive assistant turns up missing, Margo and Max find themselves analyzing the case by recasting the events in cinema terms. Rex E. Klett, writing in Library Journal, called the book "a moderately involving plot destined for larger collections."
In Extreme Cuisine, Margo and Max help their friend, wine expert Loretta Rose, find a job managing the commissary at Max's studio. Glamorous and gregarious, Loretta has little difficulty settling into her new job. Max introduces her to his consultant, famed celebrity chef Robert Madrid. A relationship between Loretta and the well-known and popular television chef seems natural, until the day Madrid is found dead in the commissary freezer, obviously murdered in a fashion reminiscent of a scene in Max's new movie. Suspects in the murder seem to be everywhere: from jealous family members to pernicious movie backers. When another murder occurs in a wine bar associated with a restaurant owned by Madrid's brother, Carlos, Margo and Max must determine whether there is a family connection between the two slayings or whether there are entirely different motives at work. Reviewer Shelley Glodowski, writing in MBR Bookwatch, called Extreme Cuisine "a delightful and, at times, laughter-inducing and lighthearted look at murder, cuisine, and the temptations of the flesh." Library Journal contributor Rex E. Klett remarked that the novel is "a terrific read, complete with sexy, slightly larger-than-life characters and lots of L.A. action." Critic Sue O'Brien commented in Booklist that Extreme Cuisine is "an enjoyable addition to a too-little-known series." The book is "a delightful read," Glodowski remarked, adding that "Sloane's characters cry out for an encore."
Sloane told CA: "Reading got me interested in writing. Curiosity influences my work. I hear something or read something out of context and I'm off. I'm just a storyteller. I hear the stories in my head and write them down. The most surprising aspect of being a writer is that it's so much fun and also that it's so exhausting to do.
"I love all my stories. They're all different, and, if we don't love our stories, who will? I hope my stories make people laugh and I hope they might also make them think about things they haven't experienced and places they've never been."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2000, David Pitt, review of Final Cut, p. 327; March 1, 2005, Sue O'Brien, review of Extreme Cuisine, p. 1148.
Library Journal, July, 2001, Rex E. Klett, review of Grape Noir, p. 129; March 1, 2005, Rex E. Klett, review of Extreme Cuisine, p. 71.
MBR Bookwatch, February, 2005, Shelley Glodowski, review of Extreme Cuisine.
Kit Sloane Home Page, http://www.kitsloane.net (September 25, 2005).
Mysterical-E, http://www.mystericale.com/ (September 25, 2005), Denise Baton, interview with Kit Sloane.
Mystery Authors Web site, http://www.mysteryauthors.com/ (September 25, 2005), brief biography of Kit Sloane.