I was born and raised on Long Island, on the South Shore. After going away to school in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, then living in Manhattan for ten years, I moved back to Long Island, this time living on the North Shore. Long Island is unique because itâ€™s in New York Cityâ€™s shadow, but it still has its own mishmash of distinct personalities â€“ from farmland to small cities, from ugly industrial parks to wineries, from endless rows of tract houses to the luxurious mansions of the Gold Coast and the Hamptons. The variety of settings give me lots of flexibility â€“ and itâ€™s fun introducing the different areas to readers who might not be familiar with them.
I'm about to launch a second mystery series, called "Murder Packs a Suitcase." The first book, which has the same title, comes out in October 2008. The new series features recently-widowed Mallory Marlowe, who's 45 and has two children in college. Mallory falls into a job as a travel writer for a glossy lifestyle magazine, and as she travels around the country, researching a different locale in each book, instead of simply sightseeing and taking notes she ends up investigating murders. The first one, Murder Packs a Suitcase, takes place in Orlando, Florida, where Mallory goes to find out if the "old Florida" of alligator farms, pink plastic flamingoes, and seashell earrings still exists amidst the theme parks. I'm anxious to see how people who enjoy my first series respond to this new one!