The Oracle of Baal

When Half Spent Was The Night: Behind the Book

We tend to believe that slavery ended in the mid-19th century. Far from it. In the 21st century, slavery is a thriving international crime that is facilitated by notorious traffickers who kidnap men, women, and children, then sell them into servitude for either hard labor or sex. In Katarina’s case, she has been targeted by… Continue Reading

The Oracle of Baal: Behind the Book

Ever wonder how perfectly sane and intelligent people get caught up in a cult? Well, wonder no more. The answer is revealed in my latest Mick Chandra mystery, The Oracle of Baal . This very different and challenging case forces Mick to understand “cult mentality,” and how people can be coerced into such insidious brain… Continue Reading

The Ravenhoe Cauldron: How It Came About

Arguably, England is one of the most ancient-artifact-rich countries on earth. From Iron Age, to Celtic, Roman, and on to Saxon, Norman, Tudor, and Stuart, one would be hard-pressed to find a more history-dense environment than England. I can think of no city in the country that exemplifies this more than Colchester, located approximately three… Continue Reading

The Erlking: The Story Behind the Title

As I began work on the second book in my Mick Chandra mystery series, I knew that Mick and his partner, Elizabeth Chang, would be seconded to New Scotland Yard’s Pedophile Unit to aid in the investigation of a notorious north London-based pedophile ring — a ring that would be headed by someone who refers… Continue Reading

A Death In C Minor: How It Came About

In 1999, my husband, David, and I made arrangements to spend three weeks in a picturesque village in Essex, England. On the ride from the station to our home-exchange cottage, the taxi driver told us about a brutal and still unsolved murder that had happened a year before and was still the talk of the… Continue Reading

The Characters

Erica Jong once wrote that, as a writer composes, characters start sprouting up like mushrooms.  I would add to her wisdom that such characters are ones we never dreamed of, nor previously imagined.  That’s the beauty of the writer’s life: you just never know who you are going to wake up with in the morning.… Continue Reading

Stoke Newington: What’s Not to Love?

Welcome to Stoke Newington, Mick Chandra’s home and one of the western world’s most diverse neighborhoods.  But here, unlike many other locations, diversity not only works, it’s the fuel that keeps this venerable neighborhood running. Imagine you’re sitting in a pub on Stoke Newington’s High Street. Perusing the menu, you notice it doesn’t offer the… Continue Reading