Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lt. Sigrid Harald Returns . . .

. . . well, sort of.  

The last full-length novel to feature my NYPD homicide detective was Fugitive Colors, published in 1995.

Over the years since then, I have received many plaintive requests for more books about her.  Unfortunately, my publisher looked at the bottom line and decided that her numbers simply were not good enough.  (Someday we will have to talk about how used book sales hurt a writer’s career and dry up the very books that readers profess to love but will not buy new, not even in the lower-priced paperback version.)   

It’s not readers alone who miss her, though.  I miss her, too.  For my own amusement, I began a ninth novel about life after the death of her artist lover and after she left the police department.  It may never be finished and it may never be published, but that doesn’t mean she’s totally gone.  “Roman’s Holiday” was published in the short-lived Mary Higgins Clark Magazine in 1999 and “El Tramegra” appeared in the September/October 2006 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.  Both short stories revolve around Sigrid’s bumbling housemate, Roman Tramegra, as he roams Europe in search of good material for his next mystery novel; and both give us glimpses of what’s happening in Sigrid’s life.

Now, two years later, Sigrid gets her own short story.  Set in Italy, at a Tuscan castle amid the hills west of Florence, “Murder at Montefugoni” is  available in the September/October 2008 issue of EQMM.  She may no longer be a police detective but that doesn’t mean she’s lost any of her coolly analytical strengths when it comes to murder.

Maybe in another two years . . .

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