Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: The Greeks of Beaubien Street by Suzanne Jenkins

About the Book:
Nestled below the skyline of Detroit you’ll find Greektown, a few short blocks of colorful bliss, warm people and Greek food. In spite of growing up immersed in the safety of her family and their rich culture, Jill Zannos doesn’t fit in. A Detroit homicide detective, she manages to keep one foot planted firmly in the traditions started by her grandparents, while the other navigates the most devastated neighborhoods in the city she can’t help but love. She is a no nonsense workaholic with no girlfriends, an odd boyfriend who refuses to grow up, and an uncanny intuition, inherited from her mystic grandmother, that acts as her secret weapon to crime solving success. Her story winds around tales of her family and their secret laden history, while she investigates the most despicable murder of her career.

The Greeks of Beaubien Street is a modern tale of a family grounded in old world, sometimes archaic, tradition, as they seek acceptance in American society. They could be any nationality, but they are Greek.

My Review:

The Greeks of Beaubien Street is a wonderful mystery story about a brutal murder, tempered by colorful family relationships.  Jill Zannos is a homocide detective working the murder case.  The victim is the daughter of a retired officer.  Jill is an excellent detective, and is aided by her sixth sense, a type of intuition she has no control over, but has helped her in the past.  Jill has a bad feeling about this case, and the end result is nothing I ever could have imagined.

The mystery is tantalizing and kept me turning pages, but even more so I liked the interactions between Jill and her family.  Jill is from Greektown in Detroit and has a deep Greek heritage that she sometimes tries to escape.  The author does an excellent job in describing Greektown, so much so that you feel as if you'd recognize it walking the streets of Detroit.  These were the best parts of the story for me, because I liked learning about the culture and traditions of the Greeks.

The story is really well done, though a bit graphic in nature.  I'd just like to throw that out there for my YA readers.  The plot moves along at a perfect pace.  The characters, especially Jill are well developed and believable as real people.  I loved the relationships between Jill and her family.  They were very relatable.  I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

About the Author:
Suzanne Jenkins is the author of the Pam of Babylon Series. The Greeks of Beaubien Street is a new series about a Greek homicide detective who grew up above the family grocery store in Greektown, Detroit. Jenkins has fond memories of growing up in a Greek American household in the suburbs of Detroit. She currently lives in the west Michigan lakeshore area with her husband, two dogs and two sheep.

Visit her website at

Visit her blog at

Book Trailer:

Guest Post:

The Story Behind The Greeks of Beaubien Street
By Suzanne Jenkins
I grew up in a Greek-American household in the Detroit suburbs. We didn’t go to church; we ate. Our Greek food defined us as a family. My father took us to Greektown to buy food he would prepare. It became an adventure we looked forward to every week until the riots of 1967, when he no longer felt it was safe to take his family into the city. After that, we’d go to a small, Greek grocery store on Joy Road. In 1975 I went one last time. I was due to deliver my daughter any moment, and the men in the store were intrigued with me surrounded me and speaking in Greek as they pointed to my body. I remember my father looking at me like it was the first time he’d seen me pregnant. I must have been giving off fertility vibes that the older men were drawn to.
The idea for the book came about as life events jogged my memory. I began thinking of our trips into Greektown, and how it represented being Greek to me. I wanted to write about it, but as I put the words down, a fictional character began developing, pushing out my own boring life. Jill was someone I envied; she lived in Greektown and spoke Greek. Her family hovered around her as she grew up; she became a police officer. (I am definitely obsessed with police activity, and get the chills when I hear a siren.) Her parents put her special-needs sibling in an institution, while mine grew up along side me. As I wrote about Jill, her family slowly came into view. They are a conglomeration of Greek people and non-Greeks I knew as I grew up; the stern aunts and reckless uncles, the loving grandparent and kooky friends of the family. The milieu of the grocery store was compelling. It represented history of the Greeks who lived in Detroit and security for the children who lived above it.
The crime Jill solves is harder to explain. It is perverse; I was an operating room nurse for many years and saw some things that were hard to take, but that only explains a small portion of the crime and its intensity. The stark contrast between the parent of the murder victim and Jill’s own father came into view as I wrote. Greek mythology and the plays of Euripides influenced me.
As the book was coming to an end I knew that I would have to write a sequel. The characters are intriguing, and I want to give each one full attention. I can’t wait to get started!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

Iriel said...

This book looks very interesting! Thank you for the giveaway!

Blog design by Imagination Designs all images from the My Midnight Dreams Danced Among the Stars kit by Tangie