Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
T. Jefferson Parker


T. Jefferson Parker was born in Los Angeles, California in 1954 and has
lived in Southern California most of his life. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Irvine in 1976. He worked as a journalist at the Newport Ensign and the Daily Pilot, both in Newport Beach, California, and won three Orange County Press Club awards for his articles. Parker’s first novel, Laguna Heat, was made into an HBO movie starring Harry Hamlin, Jason Robards, and Rip Torn.

What he writes: Parker’s novels have been described as California noir cop thrillers, an apt description of his literary niche. All of his thirteen crime novels are set in Southern California, and their common theme is the contrast between the lush, sunny California landscape and the darkness inherent in the human heart. Parker has said in interviews that Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and John MacDonald are among his inspirations. Parker’s hard-bitten heroes pay tribute to those old masters, and his villains are every bit as vicious and feral as any in fiction. Parker’ writes both standalone and series mysteries; Merci Rayborn, an ambitious, tough-as-nails homicide detective, is featured in Blue Hour, Red Light, and Black Water.


List of works
  Laguna Heat (1985) Red Light (2000) -- cassette
  Little Saigon (1988) Silent Joe (2001) -- cassette
  Pacific Beat (1991) Black Water (2002) -- large type -- cassette
  Summer of Fear (1993) Cold Pursuit (2003) -- cassette
  The Triggerman's Dance (1996) California Girl (2004) -- CD -- eBook
  Where Serpents Lie (1998) -- cassette The Fallen (2006) -- CD
  The Blue Hour (1999) -- large type -- cassette  


Los Angeles Times Book Award, 2002, for Silent Joe; Edgar Allan Poe Award, 2002, for Silent Joe; Dashiell Hammett Award nomination, 2002, for Silent Joe; Southern California Booksellers Association Book Award, 2003, for Cold Pursuit; Edgar Allan Poe Award, 2005, for California Girl.

What the critics say
“...tricky plots, driven heroes, runaway action and a gnawing sense that Southern California is going to hell in a hurry.” — New York Times, 4/16/00
“Parker, a beautiful stylist and winner of the 2001 Edgar Award for Silent Joe, takes the standard mystery plot device of a motive from the distant past and upends it. The result is surprising and deeply satisfying. Another wonderful mystery from one of the very best.” — Booklist, 1/1/03
“...tough and taut... ” — People Weekly, 4/28/03
“...masterly plotting, smart prose, and memorable characters.” — Library Journal, 10/14/04
“Parker has imagination to burn and knows how to write crisp and elegant sentences that keep the pages turning.” — Toronto Star, 5/21/06


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