Michael Gruber (born October 1, 1940 in Brooklyn) is an author living in Seattle, Washington. He attended Columbia University and received his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Miami. He worked as a cook, a marine biologist, a speech writer, a policy advisor for the Jimmy Carter White House, and a bureaucrat for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before becoming a novelist.
He is generally acknowledged to be the ghostwriter of the popular Robert K. Tanenbaum series of Butch Karp novels starting with No Lesser Plea and ending with Resolved. After the partnership with Tanenbaum ended, Gruber began publishing his own novels under William Morrow and HarperCollins.
Gruber's "Jimmy Paz" trilogy, while critically acclaimed, did not sell at the same levels as the Butch Karp series in the United States. The Book of Air and Shadows became a national bestseller shortly after its release in March 2007, however.
Tropic of Night - The detective Jimmy Paz investigates a series of mysteries involving African sorcery in Miami. Themes explored include the nature of race, "magic," and the perceived illusions of reality.
Valley of Bones - Jimmy Paz becomes intertwined with the life of a nun (Emmylou Dideroff) from a little-known Catholic order who is wrapped up in the Sudanese civil war. Themes include redemption and the mysteries of faith.
Night of the Jaguar - Paz investigates a string of murders revolving around a young boy from the Amazon rain forest and a guardian jaguar spirit. Environmental devastation, greed, and the failures of science to explain the unknown are some of the areas explored in the last novel of the Paz trilogy.
The Witch's Boy - Classical stories are revisited in this fantasy novel, as seen through the eyes of an ugly orphaned boy named Lump who is raised by a witch. Winner of the 2006 Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award for Middle Grades/Young Adults of the Washington State Book Awards.
The Book of Air and Shadows - Letters found in a rare book set off a race to find an undiscovered Shakespeare play. The concept of "intellectual property" and the world of William Shakespeare are explored in this intricate thriller.