Friday, July 26, 2013

Who Are the McKenzies?

I introduced Greg and Jill McKenzie to the fictional world in October of 2002 with publication of Secret of the Scroll. Since then the pair has garnered a long list of favorable reviews over four more books in the series. Whether you've been a fan of the McKenzies from the start or are new to the couple, here's a rundown on just who we're dealing with.

Greg was a tough, uncompromising law enforcement professional with a quirky sense of humor during his career with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He grew up in St. Louis where his mother taught school and his father was a master brewer with Anheuser-Busch. After his parents were killed in a plane crash on the way to his graduation from the University of Michigan, Greg tried his hand at police work as a deputy with the St. Louis County Sheriff. He spent four years there before joining the Air Force.

Greg retired as a lieutenant colonel, the highest rank of a long line of Scottish military men he was descended from. It started with the first muster of the 98th Argyllshire Highlanders in 1794 at Stirling Castle, north of Glasgow. Sixteen McKenzies answered the call. Greg’s grandfather, Staff Sgt. Alexander McKenzie, was a member of the 1st Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regiment, a descendant of the old 98th. He fought in the Boer War in South Africa and in Europe during World War I. A battle wound forced his retirement and led to his emigration to America when Greg’s father was fifteen.

Jill Parsons was born in Nashville, where her father was a highly successful life insurance salesman. She met Greg when she was a junior in the aviation program at Middle Tennessee State and he was on his first assignment at a nearby air base. They married after her graduation. Her father died a few years later, leaving her well off financially. She operated her own air charter service at times during Greg's OSI career.

When Greg retired from the Air Force, they indulged a desire to wander for a few years before settling in Jill's hometown. Greg soon became bored with retirement and took a job as an investigator for the District Attorney. He lost that job after his comments about a Murder Squad detective wound up on page one of the morning paper. 

That's where we find them when Secret of the Scroll, first book in the series, opens. All five books are available on Amazon in both paper and ebook. Next week, book two, Designed to Kill, will be only 99 cents for the Kindle.

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