Those of us who grew up with “real books” treasure holding what we read, perhaps smelling the scent of ink on paper, looking at them on a bookshelf. So, after several readers asked for paperback versions, the first three books of the Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn mystery series are now available in paperback.
They’re expensive to buy, at least compared to the ebook version, but there are ways around buying them. Anyway, in a few days you can buy them online, and in six to eight weeks, they should be available at your local library. Or who knows, you could win one—Too Quiet in Brooklyn is currently in a Goodreads Giveaway. And if you’ve written a review of the ebook, please contact me—I’d like to send you a paperback copy as a thank you.
Those of you who cringe when you see typographical widows and orphans, please go easy on me since I did the interior layout myself, and although the program I used, Adobe InDesign, is great with tracking and kerning, I found that allowing hyphenation created an overall smoother read.
At left is a view of Fina’s and Denny’s eighteenth-century neighborhood, Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill, courtesy of Wikipedia. It was taken in 1883 by an unknown photographer as she (or he) stood on the Brooklyn Bridge.
And here’s an excerpt from Too Quiet in Brooklyn. The chapter is “Needy” and it takes place in the Vinegar Hill townhouse owned by Fina and her boyfriend, NYPD patrolman Denny McDuffy. They’ve just had a HUGE fight. He is about to leave when the doorbell rings and two NYPD detectives, Jane Templeton and her partner, Willoughby, stand on the stoop. In this charged atmosphere, the main plot continues—solving the mystery of the murder and finding the kidnapped child, Charlie.
“That’ll be our next tier of guests. A hundred bucks says you’ll never guess who.”
I thought Denny was going to cry, staring at me like he’d lost everything.
I went to answer the door.
“Sorry to barge in on you like this, but as you know, the first twenty-four are critical.”
Jane needed something, I could smell it. I looked at Denny, who was trying to get my attention. I knew he felt awful about what he’d just said. And I felt my normal miserable self—ripped apart—but I smiled and led them into the living room, where Denny stood in the middle, a goofy grin on him, the saddest clown I’d ever seen. I’m a shithead.
“You knew we lived together, right?”
“Of course,” Jane lied, looking down to hide the surprise screaming all over her face. She slid into our best chair, an overstuffed, deep-seated affair we’d bought at an estate auction in the Hamptons for five times what it was worth.
Willoughby looked around as if he was enthralled with the decor. “Nice place you got here, Denny. Close to work, too.”
“Have a seat. What can I get you?” Denny asked. “Coffee? Soda? I guess alcohol’s out?”
Jane smiled and looked at me. “We won’t be here long. I just wanted to give you this. You might want to do something with it. I can’t, other than pass it on.”
I looked at the sheet she handed me. They’d done a search and gotten the complete history of the VIN. Last known owner of the van was a James S. Arrowsmith with an address on High Street in Allentown, New Jersey.
New Jersey. I didn’t say anything for a moment, trying to sort stuff out until, bingo, it hit me like shit bricks, and I punched myself in the thigh for being so slow on the uptake. Jane was worried about the help she’d get across the river and she’d seen my New Jersey license hanging on Lucy’s wall. She needed me. Needed me bad. That’s why she was being so nice. She wanted me to hunt this guy Arrowsmith down. I knew I could, too. The guy could be important. And she needed something important, needed it bad. But not just for the press or for her boss. For Charlie. The first forty-eight are critical, and time was streaming through our fingers like tiny grains of sand.
Photo: The cover was designed by Cathy Helms at Avalon Graphics.