JAMES MONROE, highly intelligent with an open and inquiring mind, grew up in a small college town in Oregon and moved to Southern California for his graduate education in physics. A successful scientist and engineer who holds several lucrative patents and is skillful in managing people, he created and sold three electronics companies in Silicon Valley. However, he has misread his interest in nature and his love of the outdoors to become a somewhat less successful vintner in Carmel Valley.
CLAUDIA CARTWRIGHT MONROE spent some of her early years in the Middle East, where her father advised multinational companies on the intricacies of the United States tax code and the hazards of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. With a natural gift for languages, she became fluent in Arabic, Hindi and Urdu, which led to her being recruited by the CIA. She became intrigued with intrigues, and retired from the Company to write detective stories—successfully. Her marriage to James was the second for each of them.
MARTIN ANDERSON came to the United States from Sweden at the not-so-tender age of fourteen. He had a flair for mathematics, and his first degree was in that field. However, he found that mathematics is somewhat removed from the real world and that his skills were unsalable, so he acquired a PhD in statistics, for which there is always a ready market. After broadening his expertise still further to include Decision Analysis, he became a valuable addition to the teaching staff of the Joint Institute for Strategic Analysis in Monterey. A natural athlete, his main—but not his only—sport is tennis. Despite many entreaties to the contrary, he remains a bachelor.
BEATRICE QUINN grew up in an academic community, where her mother was a Professor of Psychology and her father a Professor of Latin and Greek. She took to English Literature, and wrote a PhD dissertation entitled Town and Country: A Comparative Analysis of the Poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland (focusing, of course, on The Canterbury Tales and The Vision of Piers Plowman). This dissertation so impressed the Dean of the Faculty at Marin State University (who happened to have been born and raised in Langland's county of Worcestershire) that he transferred an empty billet from Russian and Slavic Languages to the English Department, which saw fit to offer the position to Beatrice. Her first book, Langland's Vision, has been favorably reviewed in many English-Literature journals, and has established Beatrice as the leading authority on English alliterative verse of the late Middle Ages. Her marriage to an engaging entrepreneur, who proved to be better at engaging than at entrepreneuring, has recently come to an amicable conclusion.