|Although she’d been scribbling in journals for years, Kris Neri waded into the writing pool slowly. She got her start when her husband suggested she write a humorous account of his underwhelming success as an amateur, middle-aged, middle-of-the-pack triathlete. The piece was promptly accepted and though the magazine omitted her byline, they paid her for it.. That was all it took. Kris fired off more spec pieces to other magazines and they all sold as well, one for a considerable sum. Excited by the possibility of a new career, Kris told everyone who would listen, “This is gonna be a snap,” and then she went on to receive resounding rejections on the next dozen or so pieces she tried. Eventually, she secured nearly sixty nonfiction credits in such magazines as Entrepreneur, Runner’s World, Cooking Light, Food and Wine, Swim, and many others, writing primarily on the subjects of psychological motivation and fitness, areas she knew nothing about.The lifelong mystery lover yearned to write mystery fiction, however. Comfortable with the short form, Kris initially wrote mystery short stories, garnering credits in countless publications and anthologies in the US and overseas. She has now published fifty short stories, two of which won the Derringer Award. One of her Derringer Award winners, “L.A. Justice,” introduced unconventional mystery writer Tracy Eaton and her eccentric movie star mother, Martha Collins, in a daffy little tale of murder, mobsters and the hiding away of a body. Readers responded so favorably to Tracy and her off-kilter world, that Kris put them into her first novel, Revenge of the Gypsy Queen, which received nominations for Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Awards. The series continues with Dem Bones’ Revenge, which won the Samantha Award for 2001 from Hutton Book Reviews, and 2003 will see the publication of the third in the series, Revenge for Old Times’ Sake.
Kris lives in Southern California with her husband and pets, and she teaches crime writing for the Writers’ Program of the UCLA Extension School.
Revenge of the Gypsy Queen
“…an intricately plotted, surprise-in-your-face, don’t-put-it-down mystery.”
“…the contrast between the lively Tracy and her repressed in-laws produces some one-liners that would make Fran Liebowitiz proud.”
“I Love Lucy meets Murder She Wrote,”
Dem Bones’ Revenge
When the cops catch Tracy Eaton’s mom – Hollywood legend Martha Collins, alone with the bloody remains of celebrity litigant Vince Sperry, holding nothing but a lame excuse, Tracy leaps to her defense. So why does Martha thwart Tracy’s efforts to clear her? Other suspects abound, but those scare Tracy even more. Was Martha right? Had Tracy’s lawyer husband, Drew, settled his career-making lawsuit with a bullet? Or did her dad, aging Hollywood heartthrob Alec Grainger, decide to end an old feud once and for all? All roads seem to lead to the past, to one old Hollywood scandal after another. If Tracy keeps digging, will she clear Martha’s past and her future? Or will she unearth something that’s sure to slam the cell door shut on her exasperating, but much-loved mother?
“Kris Neri has written another winner.”
“…Kris Neri and Tracy Eaton will be favorites in the mystery field for quite a long time.”
“Dem Bones’ Revenge is a witty, madcap, screwball comedy of a mystery, told with warmth and charm.”
Revenge for Old Times’ Sake
Tracy Eaton cheers when her stuffy husband loosens up enough to rearrange the nose of his boorish, money-grubbing boss, trial lawyer Ian Dragger. But Drew’s timing couldn’t be worse. When Ian is found floating face down in their pool, deader than disco, Drew becomes the prime suspect.
Still, Tracy expects to clear her sweetie in short order. But that’s before help arrives in form of her own mother, over-the-top movie actress Martha Collins, and her rigid-with-dignity mother-in-law, Charlotte Eaton. And when the mothers get together, the fireworks go off.
Obstacles mount even higher when Drew’s ex-flame, attorney CeeCee Payne, deals herself into the game. But CeeCee’s behavior raises too many questions. Is she trying to win Drew back? Or is revenge her objective, since her actions threaten to condemn Drew to a life behind bars.
When the bodies in the pool start stacking up higher than timber in a logging camp, Tracy knows nothing less than her wildest antics will do. But as the blows keep coming Drew’s way, she fears even her craziness won’t work in time to save him.