Jane Haddam was born in Bethel, Connecticut and now lives in Watertown. She was married to mystery writer William L. DeAndrea until his death in 1996. Their son, Matt DeAndrea, is also a writer.
Haddam has worked as a teacher at the college level and as a magazine editor. She is best known for her series of books featuring Gregor Demarkian, a former FBI agent. She has also written a number of murder mysteries under her real name Orania Papazoglou featuring the romance author Patience McKenna.
Haddam describes her books as character-centered mysteries; they're about the lives of the suspects at least as much, if not more, than they are about the detective catching the murderer. On the other hand, she also tries to make the detective-catching-the-murderer part more or less fair play, because she hates when the murderer turns out to be somebody you never heard of who pops up in the last chapter.
Haddam says the Gregor Demarkian series was never meant to be a series ABOUT Gregor Demarkian, his life and his world. She wanted some of that, of course, but what exists in the novels about Gregor and the people he knows and lives with are a frame for the real purpose of each book, which is to get a look inside the characters who make up the suspect list.