Francine Mathews’ passion for Nantucket and the New England shoreline dates from her earliest memories. She grew up in Washington, D.C., but her family spent summers on Cape Cod. She went to college at Princeton—one of the most formative experiences of her life. There she fenced for the club varsity team and learned to write news stories for the Daily Princetonian—a hobby that led to two part-time jobs as a journalist for the Miami Herald and the San Jose Mercury News.
After three years at Stanford, where she earned her master’s degree in history, she joined the CIA. Four years as an intelligence analyst at the CIA were profoundly fulfilling, the highlights being Francine’s work on the Counterterrorism Center's investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, and sleeping on a horsehair mattress in a casino in the middle of Bratislava. Another peak moment was her chance to debrief ex-president George Bush in Houston in 1993. But the things she remembers most about the CIA are the extraordinary intelligence and dedication of most of the staff—many of them women—many of whom cannot be named.
She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. More than 20 books have followed, along with sundry children, dogs, and houses. When she's not writing, she likes to ski, garden, needlepoint, and buy art.
Death in the Off-Season audio preview
by Francine Mathews
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