James Montgomery Jackson
Stories that are "North of Cozy and South of Noir"
Frequently Asked Questions
Table of Contents
What are you working on now ... ?
The Seamus McCree Series: FALSE BOTTOM: I'm working on the third draft of Book 6 in the series. Seamus returns home to Boston after his Uncle Mike is murdered. He's the executor and finds out his mother has inherited more than he expected.
I am also sketching characters and world for an untitled work set in a future in which corporations run the U.S.
Can I read samples ... ?
You can download a PDF of the first four chapters of Bad Policy
You can download a PDF of the first four chapters of Cabin Fever
You can download a PDF of the first four chapters of Doubtful Relations
You can download a PDF of the first four chapters of Empty Promises
What more can you tell me about Seamus ... ?
Seamus was born and brought up in Boston. His father was a police officer, killed in the line of duty. His mother worked at home, trying to keep Seamus out of trouble. He has an older sister. He's divorced and has a son, Paddy (Patrick to everyone else).
Seamus attended parochial grammar school, public high school and private college on a full scholarship. After graduating from college in four years, he played professional soccer. A first year injury forced him to quit the game.
He obtained his MBA with a concentration in finance and became a top stock analyst, specializing in the banking industry. Long before the current shenanigans on Wall Street, he quit a leading Investment Bank when he couldn't stomach the corporate duplicity over one of his reports and began working for the Criminal Investigation Group ("CIG") later that year.
Seamus is 6'2", weighs 185 pounds and if pressed can run 5 miles in 31 minutes. He loves a variety of music, but has a special interest in the pre-classical period, oldies rock and Celtic. He sings bass/baritone in a church choir and periodically joins select choirs for special performances.
He generally lives alone in a large Victorian house in the Clifton area of Cincinnati, Ohio or at his camp in the wild woods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Are you a lot like Seamus ... ?
For starters, he has all his hair. Need I say more?
Fine, be that way. He's younger, taller, faster, stronger, smarter, better looking and if that weren't enough, he's independently wealthy.
But he needs to be careful. One electronic search and replace and all that can change.
When do we get to meet ... ?
We meet Seamus's son Paddy in Ant Farm and watch him grow and mature in the later movels. He shares equal billing with Seamus in Doubtful Relations. Seamus's mother has a small, but crucial role in Bad Policy and reappears in Doubtful Relations and False Bottom. We know Seamus has an estranged sister, but we don't know the reason for the estrangement.
Hey folks -- I'm trying for a series here. I need some room for Seamus to change over time, so cut me some slack. Actually, In Doubtful Relations we get a hint of the issues. That book, the fourth book in the series, also introduces us to Seamus's ex-wife. And isn't that fun? The estranged sister shows up in False Bottom where we learn more of her story.
Since these books are mystery/suspense/thriller, not fantasy, we have only memories of Seamus's father, but we know from Bad Policy that his presence is felt long after his death.
Uncle Mike, a retired Boston police captain, isn't officially family, but he's Seamus's godfather and surrogate father. He is offstage in Ant Farm, appears in Bad Policy, has a small role in Doubtful Relations, and his murder is the inciting incident for False Bottom.
We're first introduced to Seamu's granddaughter, Megan McCree in Empty Promises. She also plays a major role in the novella "Low Tide at Tybee."
What's this about applesauce on pizza ... ?
Seamus says that he "eats to live rather than lives to eat." In Ant Farm we learn his son Paddy has a different approach to life. As a result, when they are together Paddy cooks and Seamus cleans up.
Oh right, applesauce on pizza. Try it; you'll like it. Mikey did. However, there is no truth to the rumors that the McCrees are planning a cookbook. [Update on that: They are part of a cookbook, which you can get free. They have a recipe in a FREE Kindle book KP Authors Cook Their Books.
Click on the picture to go to the Amazon page.
It really is tasty, and you don't have to wait for the pizza to cool down before you can start eating it.
Are the Financial Crimes in Your Books Possible ... ?
Almost any crime is possible given enough skullduggery and people in the right places. The crimes in my short stories and novel are fictional. I am sure some have happened somewhere in the real world in a fashion similar to what I have depicted. Others have not, most likely because no one has figured out a way to get away with it.
Paddy has a tendency to hack computer systems to get information. This too is a financial crime and while again, most things are possible, I have probably made it easier for Paddy to crack some computer systems than is reality. But then again, maybe not...certainly the NSA, Chinese and Russians seem to have it down to a science.
The real issue for all of us is how to safeguard our own financial assets. Do not routinely provide your social security number. Make sure all e-mail or phone call solicitations for account information are real. Most financial institutions will not ask for your account number or personal identification number over the phone or in an e-mail, unless you have initiated the inquiry.
Phishing is a major crime today. Criminal gangs are very good at developing websites that have the look and feel of real financial institution sites. An email directing you to "company" websites and asking for account information is called phishing. If you are ever in doubt, do not respond to the email or phone call—contact the company directly.
All information is intended to be correct or outlandish or somewhere in between.