About Merry Bloch Jones…

Merry Bloch JonesMerry Jones has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. “If I don’t write,” she says, “over time, I get agitated and irritable, as if energy is building up inside and I have to let it out.”

Accordingly, over the years, she has written a wide range of material, in a variety of styles and for diverse media. She began her career by spending about fifteen years writing and producing video and multi-media for corporate clients, but, when her second child was born in 1989, she decided to pursue her passion and began to write books.

All of Merry’s work deals with inter-personal relationships, particularly their unanticipated aspects. For several years, she approached this topic through light humor (including the best-selling I LOVE HIM, BUT…) and serious non-fiction (including BIRTHMOTHERS: WOMEN WHO HAVE RELINQUISHED BABIES FOR ADOPTION TELL THEIR STORIES). Now, she has moved into a genre she loves: shadowy mysteries.

Merry’s most recent work is the Zoe Hayes mystery series, including THE NANNY MURDERS (2005), THE RIVER KILLINGS (2006), and, in December 2007, THE DEADLY NEIGHBORS.

The series is set in Center City, Philadelphia, where Merry lived for over a decade, and it delves into the depths of a professional woman’s psyche as she confronts murders, copes with relationships and motherhood, and conquers menacing forces, both around her and within her own mind. Zoe Hayes is not a conventional sleuth; she’s an art therapist who has no intention of dealing with crime, but she bumps into or stumbles upon it unexpectedly. And repeatedly.

“Zoe is actually someone I’d like to hang out with,” Merry muses. “She’s not a detective or lawyer or superwoman type. She’s about forty years old; she’s divorced, a single mother of an adopted child. She’s lived life, made mistakes, survived and learned the value of a sense of humor. She’d be fun to have coffee with.”

Merry sees mysteries as more than merely page-turning stories. “Mystery gives the reader—and the writer--a safe environment to approach the frightening aspects of life. You know, going in, that normal order is going to be disrupted by something evil and dark. But you also know that order and normalcy will be restored. Unlike in life, where we never know the outcome, we can face fear and evil and darkness and overcome it, at least for the duration of the novel. But within those pages, the mystery gives us the opportunity to look closely at the nature of our fears, and of ourselves.”

In addition to her books, Merry has published pieces in GLAMOUR, THE LADIES’ HOME JOURNAL, AMERICAN WOMAN and many other magazines. Her books have been printed abroad in Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, French, German, Norwegian, Turkish and Dutch.

A member of The Authors’ Guild and Mystery Writers of America, Merry lives with her husband in the Philadelphia suburbs, teaching writing part-time at Temple University. Born and raised in the Midwest (Skokie, IL), she is an alumna of Niles Township High School North, Cornell University (BA) and The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communications (MA).

The mother of two young women, 21 and 18, Merry is an avid competitive rower, sculling out of Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia, and a member of the Masters Rowing Association.

Merry welcomes comments and questions and invites readers to leave her messages by clicking “contact” on the home page.

Merry's Latest!

The Borrowed and Blue Murders
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