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Devil by the Tail

Jeanne Matthews

August 10, 2021

Today I talked to Jeanne Matthews about her new novel Devil by the Tail (D.X. Varos, 2021)

It’s 1867, and a 20-something civil war widow has just set up a detective agency with a former rebel soldier named Gabriel Garnick. She uses a professional name, Mrs. Paschal, so nobody connects her with the former in-laws who are trying to stop her from receiving her dead husband’s estate. Garnick and Paschal get two cases on the same day – the first to help prove a man innocent of murdering his wife, the second to find reasonable doubt for an accused murderer. Imagine their surprise when the cases turn out to be linked? And imagine 19th Century pre-fire Chicago, teeming with corrupt politicians, gambling parlors, and bawdy houses of ill-repute. Also, someone is trying to murder Quinn Sinclair, aka Mrs. Paschal.

Jeanne Matthews graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and has worked as a copywriter, a high school English and Drama teacher, and a paralegal. She worked for litigators for twenty years, and there was seldom a day when she didn’t fantasize about murder. So, it was no wonder when she turned to writing murder mysteries. Matthews’ five-book Dinah Pelerin mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press between 2010 and 2015 received glowing reviews from Library Journal, Booklist, and Publisher’s Weekly. The settings for these books (Bones of Contention, Bet Your Bones, Bonereapers, Her Boyfriend’s Bones and Where the Bones Are Buried) range from the Australian Outback to the Norwegian Arctic to the sophisticated noir of Berlin. Matthews and her husband, a law professor, currently live in Washington State with Jack Reacher, their Norwich terrier. She loves travel, hiking, and photography, plays old torch songs from the 1930’s and 40’s on piano after a few glasses of wine, and enjoys cooking and baking. She also plays a mean game of Scrabble.

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