Hi there. I’m Kate McCall, the 45-year-old single mother of Matthew McCall, a rising star in the Manhattan DA’s office. I’m an off-off-off-off-Broadway actor, singing and dancing at the DCup theater in absurd, original musicals performed with passion by the Schmidt and Parker Players.
I’m also a private investigator.
I inherited the business from my father, Jimmy McCall, after he was murdered. I never wanted to be a PI (though I had my license because I helped Jimmy with his cases when I was between side jobs), but I also needed the money—I live in New York City. Meaning when Jimmy’s lawyer sent me a workman’s compensation case during Jimmy’s wake, I took it.
I live in and manage a walk-up brownstone on the Upper East Side of Manhattan—a dwelling I affectionately call the House of Emotional Tics—and I use the eccentric tenants of the brownstone and the histrionic actors in my theater troupe to help me solve my cases, one of which is trying to catch the asshole who murdered my father.
Anyway, that’s how it started. It’s tough to tie down my typical day—did I mention I was an actor and a PI?—so I’ll run through a laundry list of the things I might do on any given day.
I box—serious, hardcore training—four days a week, so you can find me at Raul’s Gym in Hell’s Kitchen. I’ve been going there and working with Raul since I was 14 years old and Jimmy wanted me to learn how to defend myself. Trust me, I can. I run around the Central Park reservoir on the days I’m not at Raul’s, so I’m in good shape for a woman my age.
Since I’m an actor, I use my acting skills, my cool collection of wigs and colored contact lenses and costumes collected from a lifetime of no-budget indie films, hapless television pilots, latenight cable TV commercials, and whacky way-off-Broadway musicals to work my cases. Meaning on any given day, I become a character to get information I might otherwise not have access to. For instance, today I was Marsha Friedrich, an ethics investigator for the New York Bar Association. I interviewed one of the partners at Lowry Lowe, a law firm at which one of the partners (maybe the one I met with) is hiring the same assassin who murdered my father to kill the other partners. I’ve played a hooker, a cop, an FBI agent, a horse country realtor, and a dozen other roles to solve my cases. Sometimes it’s not legal to impersonate the person I’m impersonating. Sometimes I get arrested.
Getting arrested isn’t really part of a typical day in my life. But it could be.
I’m a foodie, and I’m in the NYC, so I love to eat at all the fabulous spots New Yorkers know where you don’t have to be a Daddy Warbucks to afford dinner. I do laundry, update my case notes, clean my apartment, balance my checkbook, talk to my son, cook dinner, read magazines. . .all the things single mothers do every day.
Plus, I go to rehearsal during the week and perform on the weekends. I suppose that’s different than a lot single moms. And I investigate cases—like workman’s compensation and stolen identity and embezzlement—while I’m on the tail of the creep who killed Jimmy. I’m pretty confident that’s different than a lot of single moms.
Oh yeah, and I might text back and forth with the guy who shot Jimmy’s eyes out. He’s challenging me to catch him. I’m planning on it.
It’s not a normal life (much to my son’s dismay), but I love to sing and dance and act and being a PI is growing on me. If I can stay out of jail—and alive—long enough to catch the killer who murdered my father, then I might just stick with it.
You can read more about Kate in Emboozlement, the third book in the “McCall and Company” mystery series.
ONE SLIPPERY SPORTS BAR EMBEZZLER
TWO DEAD DECADENT DIVORCE LAWYERS
MCCALL & COMPANY ON THE CASE
PI Kate McCall was warned to stay home, stay put, and stay out of NYPD business. But someone is killing Lowry Lowe lawyers, and Kate is sure her father’s murderer is pulling the trigger. At the same time, former Major League relief pitcher Steve “Blue” Stark wants her to catch the crook embezzling big bucks from his West Side sports bar.
Kate can’t help but get in the game.
The problem is the killer is cluing her in before murdering each lawyer and she’s falling for Blue as fast as he’s becoming her prime suspect.
Can Kate and her crackpot crew catch her father’s killer before all the lawyers are dead? And will she find real love with dreamboat Blue? Or will she have to lock him up for stealing his own money?
If she comes through the kidnappings, she might beat the odds.
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Meet the author
Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than two decades. His screen credits include 18 produced television films for CBS, Lifetime, and Hallmark, feature films for Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, and Left Bank Films, and four novels for Laugh Riot Press.
He has been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, an indie film director, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a PTA board member, a commercial real estate agent, and a visiting artist for the University of North Carolina Wilmington Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, was grist for the mill. He resides on the North Carolina coast with his awesome wife, Lulu, and is sustained by the visits home of their three children.