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Sharon Fiffer is the author of eight Jane Wheel mysteries published by St. Martin’s Minotaur.  Her most recent novel, Lucky Stuff, is forthcoming September 2012.

Sharon Fiffer did not begin her writing career as a mystery author. After co-editing (with her husband, writer Steve Fiffer) three acclaimed collections of literary memoirs, Home: American Writers Remember Rooms of Their Own and Family: American Writers Remember Their Own, both published by Pantheon; and Body, published by Bard, Sharon found her inner Nancy Drew.

Sharon’s other books include the non-fiction titles, Imagining America: Paul Thai’s Journey From The Killing Fields to Freedom and Fifty Ways To Help Your Community: A Handbook for Change, which she co-wrote with Steve Fiffer.

Her short stories have been published in several literary magazines and she has been recognized by the Illinois Arts Council with a Literary Award for the short story, The Power of Speech, and with an Artist’s Fellowship in Fiction.

She has taught in the Writing Programs/English Departments of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Barat College and Northwestern University.

The co-founder of the Wesley Writers Workshop, Sharon teaches several ongoing adult writing workshops.  She also works as a private writing coach and editor.

Sharon lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer Steve Fiffer.

If you would like Sharon to read, sign, speak at your library, bookstore or event, send a detailed request to: Sarah Melnyk, Minotaur Books,

Or you can email Sharon. Be sure to put an appropriate clue to the message in the subject line.

15 Responses to Bio/Contact

  1. frances kynett says:

    Your Jane Wheel books have brought long forgotten memories for me. My Dad was the plant manager of the Butternut/Cobb bread bakeries in the Chicago area for 7 years and often told my mom he’d be late, he was going down to Kankakee for the day. I grew up with those blue and white checked wrappers! I’ve enjoyed encountering your references to the bread and its advertising slogans; makes me think of my Dad.

  2. Hello, Sharon!!! Just checking on your latest book and see that it came out yesterday, the 18th. I just happen to be here at our local library before heading over to my shop (which, by the way, if you look on my blog to a recent entry, I took lots of pictures of my shop) to check on if it has been released. So, just got done asking one of our librarians if they would get it ordered! Sooooo excited to have it in hand.
    Take care and have a blessed day……deb

  3. Pat Gould says:

    Sharon, Both my father, “Red” Walters and his brother, my Uncle Bill, had taverns in Kankakee. Dad’s was on the river in Aroma Park, and Uncle Bill’s was across the street from Ropers. My Aunt Jean and Nellie could have been sisters! I grew up in the Kankakee area, and, until 5 years ago, I lived in Riverview and still own a house there on Lincoln Avenue. Your books generate so many memories! Yet, I appreciate them even more for the quality of the stories you write…your books are of the very few I buy in harcover! Thank you for sharing your talent with those of us who love a good mystery and a fun read!

  4. Pam Johnson says:

    I’m reading Lucky Stuff and, like your other books, I just love it! I did find one little error that I thought I’d tell you about in case you want to fix it in future editions. Fire King Jadeite is not china — it’s glass. This is the first thing I’ve ever seen that wasn’t perfect and I don’t intend this as a criticism, just a hope to help. Keep the books coming!

  5. Shirley Woodard says:

    I just finished Lucky Stuff and love Nellie more with each book. It wasn’t until I had finished the book that I realized there were no garage or estate sales (which is usually my favorite part) but I didn’t miss it. I’m ready for the next Jane Wheel!

  6. Nancy Neal says:

    I just found this website after receiving an email from an old friend/classmate telling me how much she enjoyed reading Lucky Stuff. She’s in Indianapolis; I’m in Pittsburgh, but we get back to K3 every 5 years for our high school reunion (St. Pat’s). I loved your street scene photo showing Alden’s Dept. Store. In high school I worked behind the soda fountain at Hattenburg’s Drug Store on Merchant Street, just 1/2 a block down the street from Alden’s towards the train depot. Albert Hattenburg was mayor of K3 from 1937 to 1950 & the family had that marvelous Queen Anne house on South Chicago Avenue. I lived just down the street – 949 So. Chicago ,& loved growing up with the river in my back yard. My dad was the plant manager at David Bradley (which became Roper) until his death in 1958 – I’m forwarding the link to your website to other old classmates who no longer live in the area, and I look forward to reading your whole series. I close with the old high school cheer of my friends at the public school: Kan-ka-kee! Kee-ka-kan! Who can? We can! Kankakee Can! What a simpler world, and what naifs we all were.

    Best regards,
    Nancy Neal

  7. miriam says:


    I read lucky stuff, which I thoroughly enjoyed along with all your previous books. This book seemed like your swan song to the series, as loose ends seemed to be ties up. Jane comes to terms with her mother, she relocates, her son is settled, Tim and Jane both seemed settled. Was Lucky Stuff the last book in the series, and if not, when will the next book be released.


  8. Cindy Martinez says:

    I stumbled across you while looking for something else.. best way to surf! Which one was EZ Way? Raised on McKinley Ave and loved Carlos’ tenderloin sandwiches!! My Dad and Spud down at he Sinclair station were pals. That was a unique area with the alleys and the back rentals on the alleys. I have been many many places since then as an adult and never seen a place like it. And Blue’s was my Dad and Mom’s haunt. I know the place on Main & Hwy 17 (across from Carlos) was owned by the Buck’s for awhile and then my folks bought it, but I was only 4 or 5 and they didn’t have it long. There were several bar/cafe places on that strip (as I recall – it was 50 years ago), but I can’t place your folks place.

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Cindy,
      The E Z Way Inn was directly across from the main entrance to Roper Stove. In face, it was right next to Spud’s gas station. It was a tumbledown place, the building was a rental, the property owner would never sell it to my dad because he thought Roper would eventually pay big money for it to use as a parking lot. When my dad sold the business, the original E Z Way Inn burned down and now a new tavern is on the spot. Since it was known as Don and Nellie’s E Z Way Inn or Smitty’s E Z Way Inn, many people just referred to by my parent’s names.

  9. Jim Ridings says:

    Sharon, I was told you have the great color picture of South Schuyler Avenue, 1959, that was posted on the Only In Kankakee Facebook site. Do you have any more great pictures like that? I am looking for a cover picture for my next Kankakee book. With your permission, I’d like to have that or another great shot.

  10. Ruth Lestock says:

    Dear Sharon,
    I just started reading your Buried Stuff (I’m sure I’ve read it before) – but the opening scene is so great. I laughed out loud at the part about the ‘just-in’case-we-have-to host-a marauding- army supply of old blankets”. I know exactly what you are talking about. I haven’t had such a good laugh in a long time. Thank you!

  11. Amy Jewell says:

    Dear Sharon,
    I just discovered you and have finished all the Jane Wheel books and loved everyone of them. I also ordered Family and Home and even though I am taking my time reading the stories, I have already found two new authors, these books are a goldmine. Thank You

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks, Amy. Always nice to hear from someone who likes Jane Wheel and friends–and how lovely to hear that you’re reading Home and Family–there is also a third collection–Body–although I don’t want to be pushy! The writers in those collections are excellent–and I agree that the books are a gold mine. It was so much fun–and such an honor to work with those writers–most of whom we invited because we already liked their work so much.


    been reading your jane wheel books..I don’t know if you are still writing series or not.. but on page 83 of Dead Guy’s Stuff where you write about Malcolm. Jane .talking with Tim,
    would make an interesting book if Jane and Tim ended up searching for items, that had belonged to malcom and the little ring box…or something along those lines..
    or while searching for next sale they came acoss his name and a sale, leading to another mystery

  13. Kris Schmidt says:

    I took the fun quiz and discovered I am a little bit like Jane with some Inspector Oh sprinkled in. I love both these characters, so happy to be a part of each.

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