A day in the life? This should be entitled what a difference a few years make. A few short years ago I had a great career on the police force, was happily married to a handsome assistant district attorney, living in Boston, firmly on the side of truth and justice. Where did it all go wrong? Hard to say. I was brought into an investigation that got political, and some of the bad guys won. My career went off a cliff, and I was given an early retirement. You’d have to know me a little bit better to understand that I was not the easiest person to live with those days, and I shut Gus, my now ex-husband out. I felt vindicated when I found out he was having an affair, but the breakup of my marriage was as much on my shoulders as it was on Gus’s. Then my dad got sick, and I went back to Trevorton to take care of him. After he died, I decided to stay in my hometown.
When I moved back, I had to decide what to do next. A lot of ex-cops become private investigators, but I didn’t want to go that route. If I couldn’t wear the badge, I didn’t want to do the job. A few weeks after my father died I saw a notice that the Cliffside Theater Company was looking for a general manager. I asked my friend, Eric Whitehall, about the job. He was on the board of the Cliffside, and had talked to me about the recent incarnation of the company. Years ago, my late mother had worked in various capacities at the Cliffside, and the theater company held a sentimental place in my heart.
Eric didn’t doubt that I could do the job, with some training. His question was why I wanted to do it. The artistic director was a genius, but mercurial. He went through at least one general manager a year. The theater was well regarded, but deep in debt. Patience was running low for the entire enterprise, and there had been talk in town about other ways to use the harbor side space. I decided to throw my hat in the ring, and I got the job.
Now, I’m not setting myself up as the hero in this situation. I often think that my mother orchestrated my new career in her heavenly attempt to reboot my life. Trust me when I say that taking this leap was not in my modus operandi. I also didn’t expect it to be anything but a one season pursuit. But here I am, five years later, working on our annual production of A Christmas Carol, trying to keep the guest star we hired to play Scrooge sober, recasting Marley, and figuring out how to spend more money on lights and sound. Instead of walking on the razor’s edge of justice and the law, I’m walking the edge of art and entertainment. I’m also feeling more alive than I have in years. Joy has re-entered my life.
At least it had until recently. Eric’s father was killed last week, and I’m worried that my friend is on the suspect list. Do I need to put my investigator’s hat back on? After all these years, will it still fit?
You can read more about Sully in A Christmas Peril, the first book in the NEW “Theater Cop” mystery series.
When Edwina “Sully” Sullivan’s life imploded, she left behind her job on the police force and her unfaithful husband to start a new life as the general manager of her hometown theater, the Cliffside Theater Company. For five years, she focused on budgets instead of crimes and kept the Cliffside running alongside its mercurial artistic director.
But when her best friend is arrested for killing his father, the rich and powerful Peter Whitehall, no one is looking for another suspect. So, in between keeping A Christmas Carol on budget and Scrooge sober, Sully dusts off her investigative skills to find a killer. Her two lives collide when her ex-husband gets on the suspect list and she’s forced to confront her past in order to save her present.
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About the author
J.A. Hennrikus writes the Theater Cop series for Midnight Ink. The debut of the series, A Christmas Peril, came out on September 8. As Julianne Holmes, she writes the Agatha nominated Clock Shop Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. The third in the series, Chime and Punishment was released on August 1, 2017. She has short stories in three Level Best anthologies, Thin Ice, Dead Calm and Blood Moon. She is on the board of Sisters in Crime, and is a member of MWA and Sisters in Crime New England.
All comments are welcomed.