The Detective/Writer Type

by C. M. Albrecht

So what about me? 

I’m me.  I’m a private eye. I work alone.

I wear a fedora and a trench coat even when it’s a hundred and five in Sacramento.  I pack an 11mm Marley I bought at the Archie Goodwin estate sale.  I know which end the slugs come out of.  But 11mm slugs?  Hard to come by these days. People say I’ve got attitude.  Attitude they don’t like.  I get that a lot. 

The cops and me? We work toward the same end, but we’re like water and electricity. They think I cramp their style. They hate that  I don’t have to play by their rules. I usually end up  needing a lawyer.  The last one I had fell off the back of an ambulanceful of mesothelioma patients and got run over by a speeding Cooper. 

I’m alone and  on my own.  It’s a mean life.  I’m used to it.

When my casebook’s empty— and it’s empty a lot—I write books. Crime books.

Okay, really, I’m not at all like that.  I’m just a mild-mannered fellow who loves mysteries and detectives (public and private alike). I sit at my desk and drink coffee, piddle around on the computer and daydream. Marley? What’s a Marley? I’ve never seen one. I don’t even think there is such a thing. I think Archie just made the name up along with the Heron he used to drive.

I’ve never gone strapped anyway (except for cash), and I’ve never shot anybody and nobody’s ever shot me. My wife got shot at once, but that’s another story. I’ve been happily married to the beautiful Irma since 1967.  While my head’s in the clouds, she helps keep my feet on the ground.  That ain’t easy.

I’m sure people in law enforcement snort at boo-boos they run across in crime fiction.  They may think writers are stupid or simply ignorant.  FYI we may or may not know what we’re writing about, but in writing there’s a loophole that covers this.  It’s called poetic license. It’s legal. 

I like murder mysteries, «romans durs» and «romans noirs». A couple of my books are not only murder mysteries, but fall under those classifications as well.  My stuff isn’t as hard-boiled as the first “me” above, but it’s not as soft and sweet as the second “me”, the guy who sits at the computer and day-dreams. It falls somewhere in between. I try not to get fancy. I like to keep my writing realistic and the story lines believable and plausible.  Just saw a film where the guy learns to his regret that he’s used all the slugs in his automatic. We “pros” of course know that the slide would have stayed back after his last round and even a real dummy would have realized his weapon was dry. But hey, that’s Hollywood. I don’t want to go Hollywood (unless they call me.)

I have a wonderful publisher, Arline Chase, and an equally wonderful editor, Shelley Rodgerson (who’s a whiz at creating neat covers as well!)

Check these efforts out right now for some easy reading:

The Music Series: “Music”, “Evidence”, “Still Life with Music”

“The Little Mornings”

“Marta’s Place”

“Deadly Reception”

“Tape”

“River Road”

“The Albemarle Affair”

Cambridge Books www.writewordsinc.com and at all the very finest sites.

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