Perri O’Shaughnessy is the pen-name for two people, Pamela and Mary O’Shaughnessy, sisters. The authors’ pseudonym is an homage to Perry Mason, the man who never met a guilty client, and a melding of their two first names, Pamela and Mary. Pamela graduated from Harvard Law School and was a trial lawyer for sixteen years. Mary is a former editor and writer for multimedia projects. They are the authors of eleven bestselling Nina Reilly novels as well as a collection of short crime fiction.
After law school, two trips trekking and mountain climbing in the Himalaya, and a stint at UMass Boston, Pam took her first real law job at a small firm in Carmel, California. There was plenty of work defending pot growers in Big Sur, handling divorces and whatever else came through the door. When their mother got her law degree, she and Pam formed the Monterey California firm of O’Shaughnessy and O’Shaughnessy – which must have been one of the first mother-daughter law firms around.
Pam practiced law in Monterey, San Pablo, and Lake Tahoe for sixteen years before the success of the Nina Reilly series prompted her to leave the profession. Pam, a small-town general lawyer with plenty of courtroom work, married a land surveyor named Mike and had a son. She claims Tahoe offered the most fascinating cases because of the gambling, free-flowing sex, and money, and huge numbers of people passing through, not to mention the grandeur of the mountains and lake.
Mary and Brad have three children. They settled down near San Francisco and haven’t moved much, unlike Pam, who continued the odyssey their parents had begun. Pam moved to New York to Hawaii and back to Tahoe, among many places. She also now lives in northern California.
Around 1993, Mary and Pam began writing together. Pam had plots and poetry, and Mary had studied creative writing even in the years after college.
“Our first manuscript, written over several years, featured a paralegal named Nina Reilly who worked for a law firm in Carmel, California. It landed us a wonderful agent, but by then we had moved on and written something smoother and better developed. For ages, that first Nina Reilly novel gathered dust. In between working and raising families, we wrote a second book together. With the help of that amazing and estimable agent, Nancy Yost of New York’s Lowenstein-Yost Associates, Inc., Perri’s second try sold. In this, Perri’s first published novel, Motion to Suppress, Nina Reilly runs from a bad marriage to South Lake Tahoe, putting out her shingle, and like Pam, taking whatever cases walk through her door. We’ve had many requests over the years for a peek at that first story of a young Nina. Well prepare yourself for December 2008’s Show No Fear. With the delicate but forceful attention of the talented Maggie Crawford at Simon and Schuster, Perri’s first novel is coming to get you. Since then we have written thirteen books together, including one collection of short stories.”