During the period when Shelly Reuben was investigating arson as a private detective, she came across individuals and events that tantalized her mind and touched her heart. Add to that a vivid imagination and an indelible belief that, even if virtue does not always triumph, it will eventually manage to hobble, stumble or stride across the finish line—and you have these eleven stories. Originally published in The Forensic Examiner and The Evening Sun.
Within the pages of Dabbling in Crime, meet:
• Dante No-Last-Name-No-Middle-Initial, a throwaway kid hiding under a music school staircase, with a damaged heart and the talent of a virtuoso violinist.
• Wealthy, beloved Jimmy Lillyjohn, burned to death on the top floor of his mansion after a lighted cigarette falls from his fingers onto his lonely mattress.
• Mountainous, mean-spirited Hilda Pomfrey, who bullies everyone in her sphere, including her tree-loving, milquetoast husband Herb.
• Honorable Police Chief Joseph Steinbeck, who reluctantly participates in a library event, and is almost murdered when he is checked out as a “Human Book.”
• Prosecutor Edward Nygh, who hides evidence of arson to convict the wrong man
• Nygh's reluctant assistant who travels through time to revisit her past.
“There are people who are skeptical about human nature and people who have a deep trust in human nature. And a great number of people somewhere in between. How does real life deal with these different kinds of people? This question is just one of the many interesting problems which are reflected in Dabbling in Crime, Shelly Reuben’s new collection of short fiction.” Albert Ashforth. Author of The Rendition and On Edge