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Character Interview: Jill Zannos from Suzanne Jenkins’ ‘The Greeks of Beaubien Street’




We’re thrilled to have here today Jill Zannos from Suzanne Jenkins’ new book, The Greeks of Beaubien Street. Jill is a 30’ish homicide detective from Detroit, Michigan.

It is a pleasure to have Jill with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Jill. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I do think she portrayed me as truthfully as she was able. You may have gotten the idea that I’m not an easy personality.  What hurt though, was the emphasis on me not having any friends. I have friends! The people I work with and my cousin Andy are friends. I just don’t have any female friends. The other female detectives don’t like me and I truthfully don’t know why.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? 

If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?She made me seem a little cold. I really am very emotional; I just choose to keep private things private. I wish she would have emphasized my compassion, and also talked more about my spiritual life. I am very intuitive. It is important to me, and I cultivate it by praying and meditating. Also, I do yoga every day for an hour or more. She also made me seem sort of asexual. That’s really far from the truth. I’m just not a slut.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I can do my job in any circumstance. I got some bad news and was able to work and not be affected by it. It’s what makes me a good cop. I also am loyal. My partner at work will tell  you that I would take a bullet for him or any of the other officers in a Detroit minute.

Worse trait?

I’m suspicious. It must be a vestige of the intuition. I get a notion and then have to investigate it. And I’m also trusting. Suspicion and trust are odd bedfellows.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Me? Oh, no way. I am no actor. My favorite have blond hair and speak with English accents. If hard pressed, I guess Mila Kunis. We sort of look alike, but she’s prettier and has a better figure.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Wow, that’s pretty personal. Ms. Jenkins told more of the story of Alex than I wanted her to, which really angered me. It was my business. And she made him look so innocent, too. Poor Alex. Everyone feels sorry for him. Ugh. I wouldn’t let her say much about Fred Cooper! I threatened her with a lawsuit if she did. I’ll allow more to be revealed in the sequel. The problem with Alex and me is that we look so darn good together. Whenever we’ve gone out together in public, we get a lot of attention. Even in high-school, we were voted “the most beautiful couple.”

 At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

I had a sick feeling when my dad told Andy and me about the night my brother was born. It wasn’t anything specific I could put my finger on; I just knew there was more to the story that he wasn’t sharing. Also, the last time Alex and I went to Bleu I just knew something was up. He was such a disarming character, that Alex. Ugh.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Definitely my Aunt Paula. She made herself look so friggin unattractive. I’m no beauty queen, but I avoid circumstances that put me in a terrible light and she seems to thrive on just the opposite.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I loved it! It seems a little unrealistic. The reader has no idea what’s in store. It’s probably a good thing, because I hear Ms. Jenkins has some angry fans!  People want to hear the good stuff, not the bad. And she does have a way with the bleak. I like more hope! Happiness! Why expose all our warts?  She hides nothing about our lives. Greek people are very proud and I am no exception.

 What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?

I would ask her to let me have some privacy.  For heaven sake! Does she need to expose every, single tidbit of embarrassing news? I also don’t care to hear any explicit details about my parent’s marriage. What child does, no matter the age? It’s disgusting.

 Thank you for this interview,Jill.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Oh, I’m afraid so.



Suzanne JenkinsSuzanne Jenkins is the author of the Pam of Babylon Series. The Greeks of Beaubien Street is a new series about a Greek homicide detective who grew up above the family grocery store in Greektown, Detroit. Jenkins has fond memories of growing up in a Greek American household in the suburbs of Detroit. She currently lives in the west Michigan lakeshore area with her husband, two dogs and two sheep.

Visit her website at

Visit her blog at


The Greeks of Beaubien StreetNestled below the skyline of Detroit you’ll find Greektown, a few short blocks of colorful bliss, warm people and Greek food. In spite of growing up immersed in the safety of her family and their rich culture, Jill Zannos doesn’t fit in. A Detroit homicide detective, she manages to keep one foot planted firmly in the traditions started by her grandparents, while the other navigates the most devastated neighborhoods in the city she can’t help but love. She is a no nonsense workaholic with no girlfriends, an odd boyfriend who refuses to grow up, and an uncanny intuition, inherited from her mystic grandmother, that acts as her secret weapon to crime solving success. Her story winds around tales of her family and their secret laden history, while she investigates the most despicable murder of her career.

The Greeks of Beaubien Street is a modern tale of a family grounded in old world, sometimes archaic, tradition, as they seek acceptance in American society. They could be any nationality, but they are Greek.


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