Who is Nero Blanc?

Cordelia & Steve

The Crossword Mystery series is a collaboration created by the husband and wife writing team of Steve Zettler and Cordelia Frances Biddle. Cordelia's previous work has been primarily historical fiction (Beneath the Wind and Murder at San Simeon), while Steve's has been more international thrillers (The Second Man, Double Identity and Ronin). However, the concept of writing in partnership has always fascinated them.

"We met while working as actors on the New York stage several years ago," says Zettler, "and perhaps our fondest memories are those from the shows in which we performed together. So, why not pair up as writers? Since we've been crossword puzzle buffs and mystery fans for years, the idea of combining the two seemed the perfect solution. Thus The Crossword Mystery series was born. The fun for us came in melding our two distinct styles, and thereby creating a 'cozy' book that has a feel all its own. Enjoy!"

Why Nero Blanc?
We chose our nom de plume, Nero Blanc, because NERO translates to black in Italian, and BLANC to white in French. The words are favorites with crossword constructors and solvers - providing us with a puzzling allusion in a name. The question as to which one of us is NERO and which BLANC is for you to guess...

Charitable Thoughts...
We’re proud to support a local charity by donating percentages of our earnings from the Nero Blanc books. The organization is ECS (Episcopal Community Services) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ECS is a social services agency that has been assisting needy folk of all faiths for over 130 years. To learn about ECS’s programs, please visit their web site: www.ecs1870.org.

With our 2004 holiday book, "Wrapped Up In Crosswords" (a bit of a shaggy dog tale if we do say so), we will be dedicating a portion of our royalties to The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (which is where Gabby came from!).
Website: http://www.pspca.org

We have also auctioned off fictional characters to support the fine work of the Alzheimer’s Foundation, and the Miami Valley Literacy Council.

Check out Cathy Sova's interview with Steve & Cordelia at: