My mom cried the day I told her I wanted to be a cop. She’d always hoped that I would choose something safe, like becoming a librarian. It wasn’t an unreasonable supposition based on the number of books I devoured as a kid. I used to read by flashlight under the covers well into the night. Most kids got grounded, I had my books taken away. It was hell.
I fell into law enforcement after a process of eliminating professions I knew were beyond my patience: bookkeeping, professional knitter and the like. Serendipity stepped in when I called Santa Barbara to inquire about openings and was told that the department was holding an orientation that night…. Fourteen years later, I tired of the California rat race and headed to Paris to finish my undergraduate degree. From there, Colorado seemed a good fit. One trip over Red Mountain and into Durango cinched it. Yeah, I took grief over being a California transplant, but the Texans got it worse.
In Colorado, I returned to being a slick-sleeve, but then promoted through the ranks to captain. I ran DPD’s evidence room, records bureau, hiring and recruitment, internal affairs, community programs, and a little thing called the investigative unit. Oh, and my name frequently appeared in the newspaper as the department’s spokeswoman.
The highlight of my career was being accepted at the FBI National Academy—an eleven-week executive leadership program in Quantico, VA. If you’ve seen Silence of the Lambs, you’ve seen Quantico. I did my best Jodie Foster impression on the six-mile obstacle course. She had youth on her side; I had determination.
Like any good Californian, I’ve written two screenplays. The first is a story of Joan of Arc. The second tells the tale of the British Sutton Hoo treasure, a 7th Century, East Anglian longship that was unearthed in 1941. It contained the remains of a Saxon king and his treasure trove. Yes, my inner geek is showing. Also my education as a medievalist.
I retired from law enforcement after nearly twenty-two years of service. Now, I spend my time in South Florida writing.
Adrift, my first Mer Cavallo Mystery, was published in 2017 by Alibi-Random House. It was an Agatha Award finalist for Best First Novel. Beached, the second Mer Cavallo Mystery, followed exactly one year later. It earned the Royal Palm Literary Award for Book of the Year and Best Mystery.
What’s next you ask? I’m getting back to my police roots.
I’m represented by Helen Breitwieser of Cornerstone Literary Agency, Los Angeles, California.