When I was attending a regional middle school in rural Maine, I wanted to work for the United Nations. It seemed cool—the building’s international design, the New York City setting, the languages, the people of different colors from diverse countries, the mission. At the time, I was enduring mean-girl culture. Snip-snap, realign, re-friend, repeat. Maybe…

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  That crop duster. The cornfield. Watch it. Isolated at home during the Covid-19 pandemic and a dreary rainy spell, I watched in Technicolor glory Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 film North by Northwest. Its lumens were intensified by the star power of Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason. Cinematic thrills when my day was…

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The internet seems a custom fit for the adolescent brain: it is instantly receptive to impulses, secrets told beyond the hearing of adults, silly truth or dare games. Adolescents can find through social media the paradoxical assurance that a) no one has ever felt the way they do, they’re special; b) someone else has felt…

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This is the week when my family and friends gather to celebrate the publication of my mystery, Where Privacy Dies. It is a celebration of the community support it takes for a book to come forth from an author’s hand, and there’s nothing like the feeling of holding the actual thing in hand—joy. And the tremendous…

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Fight and flight requires fuel. The pursuit of murderers requires strength. Those who investigate must feed their appetites. What will my detectives Erik Jansson and Deb Metzger consume so they can dodge death’s harvesting? Noir private eyes, the Sam Spades and Philip Marlowes, survive by downing hard liquor and bad coffee. Hardboiled doesn’t refer to…

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