Married William G. Tapply (a writer); children: Blake, Ben; stepchildren: Mike, Melissa, Sarah. Education: Ithaca College, B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Scuba diving, fly fishing, digital imagery, photography, singing.
Home—Hancock, NH. E-mail—[email protected]
Novelist and journalist. Dive Training, contributing editor; Worcester Magazine, film critic, columnist, and feature writer; The Meetings Group/Primedia Business Magazines & Media, special sections editor. Has worked as an assistant producer for a stock company, professional photographer, high school drama and English teacher, hamburger cook, scuba diving shop manager, editor, and adolescent counselor, and has worked with law enforcement professionals.
Body Parts, Dorchester Publishing (New York, NY), 2004.
The Dead Stone, Dorchester Publishing (New York, NY), 2005.
The Grief Shop, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2006.
The Bone Man, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to magazines, including New Woman, Harvard Post, Alert Diver, and Improper Bostonian.
Vicki Stiefel's popular crime novels feature protagonist Tally Whyte, a homicide counselor in Massachusetts who works with police officers and lawyers. In the first installment in the series, Body Parts, Tally confronts a vicious serial killer who is known as "the Harvester" because of his habit of collecting a body part from each of his female victims. Convinced that the cops have arrested the wrong man, Tally decides to find the real Harvester herself, finally coming face to face with the killer in a finale that a Publishers Weekly reviewer described as "shocking and gruesome." Comparing Stiefel's work to that of veteran mystery writers Mary Higgins Clark and Sue Grafton, the reviewer concluded that Tally is a "tenacious but vulnerable" and admirably credible character.
Tally returns to her home town in rural Maine to clear up some ugly rumors about her father's alleged real-estate theft in The Dead Stone. However, before Tally can get very far, her best friend's sister is murdered, and Tally again finds herself in the role of detective. Harriet Klausner, writing on the Books 'n' Bytes Web site, praised the book's complex and intriguing plot and observed that Stiefel is a "talented writer of psychological suspense."
In The Grief Shop, Tally faces the horrible possibility that one of her colleagues may be a murderer. The plot begins when the body of a little girl is dumped inside the office of the chief medical examiner where Tally works. Because no one can enter the building without security clearance, investigators suspect that someone in the department must be involved. As Tally sets out to find the killer, she must also deal with the kidnapping of her boss (who is also her stepmother). A contributor to Publishers Weekly considered Tally a "compelling protagonist," and observed that Stiefel "can hold her own against genre heavy-weights like John Sanford and Patricia Cornwell."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, December 15, 2003, review of Body Parts, p. 59; July 31, 2006, review of The Grief Shop, p. 59.
Books 'n' Bytes,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (April 23, 2007), Harriet Klausner, reviews of Body Parts and The Grief Shop.
MBR Bookwatch,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (March 1, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of The Dead Stone.
New Mystery Reader Magazine,http://www.newmysteryreader.com/ (April 23, 2007), Stephanie Padilla, review of The Grief Shop.