Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits.
In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery "Murder in Half Moon Bay," introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley and clue-sniffing Yorkie, “Teddy.”
When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas, California, and Georgia finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand, or having afternoon tea with friends.
She lives with her husband in Texas and is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) CenTex Chapter.
To learn more about Nancy Jill visit these sites.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. An explanation was needed to justify taking our pet rat, Sandy, to the pound due to my husband's allergies. Since the children were young I believed a story would help them understand. I wrote a fairy tale and used our names spelled backward to disquise the real characters in our sad situation.
What is your writing process?
Since I write murder mysteries I use a loose-leaf binder to jot down answers the story must address such as who gets murdered, why they were murdered, who the murderer was, and how the victim was killed. Then I create the cast of characters and write a backstory on each.
I create a random list of elements I want to include and a list of events, then I divide the elements into groups of ideas that seem to fall together. Once I have about a hundred elements, I create twenty chapters and give them titles best suited to the five elements I place in each.
The Christmas holidays get a morbid start when Jillian Bradley's niece Kaitlin Romero discovers the body of her boss at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An envelope containing rare Charles Dickens illustrations is missing, and Detective Mickey Wells must reluctantly rely on Jillian's help to solve the crime.
The case goes international when the vendor of the illustrations is murdered.
Here are more stories about the dynamic investigating duo of Jillian Bradley and her Yorkie companion Teddy. Enjoy stories centered on the holidays - Christmas, Valentine's Day, Summer and Fall.
"Lawrence Buys a Gift"
"Teddy Saves Christmas"
"Sweets, Treats and Murder"
Set in the beautiful city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, a bitter conflict over fishing rights and the love of one woman turns deadly with the murder of a young attorney, drawing Jillian and Teddy into yet another intriguing adventure.
As Jillian Bradley prepares to embark on her honeymoon, a terrible tragedy strikes. Now she must help exonerate Richard Zhou of murder. But when Jillian's health fails, a dear friend back home is called upon to help and joins Jillian to solve the case. Even with Teddy at her side, will Jillian have the strength to find the real killer? "The Long Trip Home" is an ordeal no one should have to face.
When Jillian and Teddy arrive with her wedding attendants in London, they become embroiled in a jewel heist with a man left stabbed to death. Can they solve the crimes in the midst of Jillian's wedding plans? An old acquaintance from San Diego comes to their aid, but will his help be enough? Perhaps the jewel has a curse.
The quaint surfing town of Pacific Beach becomes a destination for murder when a young starlet and her mother are found brutally murdered at the Pacific Terrace hotel where Jillian’s family reunion is taking place. The reunion takes a terrifying turn when Jillian's nephew is arrested as the prime suspect. Jillian must move quickly to find the real killer and prove her nephew's innocence.
After a frantic call from a couple on their honeymoon, Jillian returns to Half Moon Bay to help. Two elderly men have been found dead in their recliners, and now another man is missing. This time it's the distraught father of the new bride - Jillian's personal assistant. Jillian and the newlyweds uncover clues that lead to a dangerous clinical world. Will Teddy be able to save the day?
Gardening columnist Jillian Bradley and her faithful Yorkie Teddy attempt to solve the mystery of an amnesia victim, but they get much more than they bargain for. Murders in a remote farming community, a mysterious compound, and family secrets create the ultimate test for Jillian and Teddy's survival.
It's been eight years since gardening columnist Jillian Bradley helped solve a string of murders in Half Moon Bay. But when a friend and colleague in Scottsdale, Arizona finds a young technical assistant dead on the floor of his private office, Jillian doesn't hesitate to answer his plea for help. After all, a $2 million research grant depends on it.
All Jillian Bradley wants is to spend a quiet weekend by the ocean and enjoy her afternoon tea. But a startling discovery draws Jillian and her garden club friends into solving a mystery that threatens her life and changes her future.
'Murder in Half Moon Bay' Book 1 introduces Jillian's little companion 'Teddy,' a Yorkie who falls prey to danger but rises to become sleuth-dog in the next book.