What goes up must come down, and Craig Rice’s meteoric rise to the top of the mystery writing heap by 1946 was rivaled only by her rapid descent into semi-obscurity. Her face once graced the cover of Time magazine, but today her books are found in second hand stores.
The mystery surrounding Rice was almost as puzzling as her books. Where was she born? What was her given name? What novels and short stories did she publish? Who did she marry and how many times? How many children did she have? Where did the penname of Craig Rice emanate from? How did she die? In the forty years since her death, the answers to these questions were buried under piles of confusion, lies, and exaggeration. In the 20th century how could these basic questions of a person’s life be so vague?
Jeffrey Marks began a quest to learn the answers. His research took the better part of a decade. He traced Rice’s oeuvre back to original manuscripts to determine authorship. He tracked down relative, friends, and other writers to learn answers on Craig’s name, her heritage, and her descent from superstardom into drinking, mental illness, and trouble with the law.
Author of a series of biographies of mystery authors from the 1940s/1950s. Currently working on a biography of Erle Stanley Gardner, who wrote the Perry Mason series.
Wow, lots to tell for 1/2 a life so far. Born in a very small town about 1 hour east of Cincinnati. Moved to the western side of Cincinnati and grew up here. Went to Miami University in 1979 and graduated in 1983. Went to work for GE for 16 years, where I travelled extensively to hotspots like Kansas and Boston. Traveled on my own time to Egypt, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, England (4 times), France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, you get the idea. Love to travel. Quit GE to write for a magazine called Technology Decisions. Moved on to get into PR writing, which was just like writing fiction. In 2001, my first book came out, Who Was That Lady? It was nominated for every major mystery award. Followed that up with 4 anthologies, 2 more biographies, 3 novels, and a book on genre fiction marketing (I feel I should sing, and a partridge in a pear tree here!) These days I’m teaching English in Northern Kentucky.And I’m writing a biography of another mystery author, the very prolific Erle Stanley Gardner. Check out my website at www.jeffreymarks.com for more details. I’m usually on the road 1-2 times per month, doing promotions. I’m happy to speak at book clubs, writers workshops, or seminars.