Sarah Shankman is not Samantha Adams, but may be Emma Fine. Or maybe Alice Storey.
The real Sarah Shankman is an Oakmont resident and author of eleven books, including
the seven-book Samantha Adams mystery series published between 1989 and 1998. Early fiction
published under the name Alice Storey was republished under her real name. All of her books,
primarily published by Simon & Schuster, were widely reviewed, including this example from
The New York Times:
Sarah has three stand-alone novels and one short story collection published between 1985
and 2009. She is also Anthology Editor for A Confederacy of Crime: New Stories of Southern-
Style Crime (2001).
In yet another incarnation, our Oakmont neighbor was editor and contributor to Atlanta
Magazine, New Orleans Magazine, Fine Dining, Briefing: An American Express newsletter for
restaurateurs, and Maniac: A Scholastic humor magazine.
So, who is Emma Fine? I asked Sarah that and other questions one afternoon between
sips of sweet tea and chardonnay—she had the tea. Emma Fine is the protagonist in an
autobiographical novel entitled Keeping Secrets. Emma was born in Baltimore and raised in
West Cypress, LA (pseudonym for West Monroe), as was Sarah. Sarah moved to Atlanta. Emma
followed. Sarah moved to New York. Emma followed. Sarah moved to San Francisco, married,
divorced. Emma followed. For details, you’ll have to read the book.
The real Sarah Shankman earned her M.A. in English and American literature at Emory
University. Before writing professionally, she taught English in colleges and high schools for
fourteen years. After laying down the quill (except for the short story collection published in
2009), in 2002 she returned to teaching, this time coaching students in writing successful college
and graduate school admissions essays.
Having enjoyed life in Berkeley for seventeen years, she married Tim Nelson, A Tax
Attorney and CPA, and they merged their households in Oakmont in 2021.
To summarize: Sarah Shankman is a retired author of a seven-book mystery series and
three standalone novels, born on the East Coast, raised in the Deep South, who is also a foodie
and an academic. Questions? If so, you may bump into Sarah walking the Annadel trail, having
lunch at The Oak, discussing contemporary stories with the Oakmont Short Story Discussion
Group, or you might drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find Sarah Shankman books at the Oakmont Library, check the shelf endcaps where
they will be highlighted for a time. After that, look:
In the Mystery sections for First Kill All the Lawyers (paperback); Then Hang
All the Liars (paperback); Now Let’s Talk of Graves; She Walks in Beauty; The
King is Dead; He Was Her Man; and Digging Up Momma.
In General Fiction for Keeping Secrets; I Still Miss My Man But My Aim is
Say You’re Sorry is only available as an e-book. All the above books are available as e-books.