If you could see my calendar, Crime would never be listed on it. My life is not supposed to be exciting. Ordinary life is plenty for me to manage every single day.
Two days a week my calendar says : Work. Those are the days I spend at my part-time job, at the Brooklyn History Museum. I research information for new exhibits and whatever else I am assigned. That is technically called: Museum Stuff.
(When I was younger, living another life, I would have thought it was strange, spending days buried in old newspapers or photos. )
The other days it says: Work on dissertation. About once a week there will be something like Appointment w/Advisor or Dept Meeting or Grade Exams. That is called Grad Student Stuff.
(I became a Ph.D candidate sort of by accident. One day I will finish my degree in urban history. Maybe)
My evenings usually list: Chris home for dinner. Or: Chris not home for dinner. Or Chris basketball game. Or Parent Teacher meetings. Parent Stuff.
(I went to a Brooklyn public high school with 3200 students. I doubt my teachers even knew my name. In my present transitioning neighborhood the schools weren’t very good, so the thanks to the gods of financial aid, Chris goes to a fancy private school for gifted students. Her teachers know a lot about her, far more than I do myself. Is this a good thing? I am not sure.)
Once in awhile, there will be Dinner with Darcy, my best friend. Or Joe/Pizza. That is not a date – I don’t date, though Chris thinks I should. Joe is a friend. Once in a very great while there is Haircut. Personal Stuff.
(I don’t have time for much of that)
So you see how unexciting life is. Of course there are events that do not get written on my calendar. A fight with Chris, for instance. They are never scheduled; they come out of nowhere. Chris is fifteen, so of course they are always my fault.
Fights with my dad don’t get written down either. His attempts to be helpful are almost always at cross purposes with what I actually need, he still thinks I am his little girl, and oh, yes, I suppose I never really forgave him for taking up with That Woman after my mom died.
I don’t write Stumble on a Crime on my calendar either. My field is urban history and my dissertation is about how neighborhoods change in my home town, Brooklyn. Well, hey, real history isn’t pretty, and this is Brooklyn, not always pretty either. (Always interesting, always a story to tell, not always pretty) Sometimes, as I do my job, crimes of the past and brand-new ones collide. The first time, it was a body hidden right here in my house. A crook of a landlord, an unknown teen-ager, a neighborhood and a city in the throes of painful change? It was their past coming right into my present.
I have been told – more than once!- I should mind my own business and not ask so many questions. Sure. Like that is ever going to happen.
Triss is giving away one (1) copy of BROOKLYN BONES. Contest open to US residents only and ends February 9. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Book will be shipped directly from the author.
Come read about Erica’s story in Brooklyn Bones, the first book in the new Erica Donato mystery series.
Meet the author
Triss Stein’s Brooklyn Bones (Poisoned Pen Press) is the first book in a new series about Brooklyn neighborhoods, Brooklyn history, family life, teen-agers and crime. In other words, real life plus mystery. She thinks of it as “urban cozy” or “soft boiled.” In Bones, the decades old body of an unknown teen-age girl is found during a renovation. Triss also had stories in both volumes of the anthology Murder New York Style.
Visit Triss at trissStein.com
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.