Tag Archives: Cathi Stoler

A day in the life of Chloe by Cathi Stoler

Most people think a model’s life is a series of one exciting event after another—glamorous parties and thrilling dinners filled with famous people and beautiful clothes. Well, they’d be half right. The other half is really hard work. Especially when you work with a photographer like Otto. Although, it didn’t seem like that at the beginning.

Otto plucked me from oblivion at a party for the opening of a fashion photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. With one bold and impassioned gesture, he dubbed me his muse and swore to make me famous. Like the other one-named models of the day, Twiggy, Penelope and Veruschka, I would be Chloe. His Chloe. Sassoon cut my hair. Mary quant chose me to model her new line for her London show. Otto took the shots and Vogue featured them on glossy pages I viewed with awe. Me, an eighteen-year old from Iowa, who thought I’d died and gone to heaven with all the fame and fortune coming my way.

Otto and I lived and worked in a big, old loft downtown. It was 1969, a time of exciting changes for the world and us. We were going to put a man on the moon that summer and Otto became obsessed with creating a series of photos for MoMA, staring me, to mark this occasion.

Our studio was filled with people. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, lighting, set designers and assistants were there from morning until late at night. Only to have it all repeated the next day and every day for months. Otto could be kind, generous and loving. He could also be imperious, demanding and tyrannical, when things weren’t going exactly right.

The photographs were beautiful and Otto made me gleam and glitter like one of the stars surrounding the moon our astronauts were heading for. I loved the idea of being the face of the moon landing, but one wrong gesture or a prop out of place and Otto would be off in rage. Most of the time I shrugged it off; he loved me after all and only wanted the best for us.

His assistants were a different story, often leaving the studio after just a day or two of enduring his outrageous behavior. The newest one, Jed, was different. Somehow, he bore the brunt of Otto’s tirades and seemed to shrug them off. As Jed and I worked together, we became close and eventually, it turned into something more. As abusive as Otto was, Jed wasn’t leaving, not anytime soon and I knew why. Me. Even if I’d known what falling in love with Jed would lead to, I don’t think anything could have made me stop.

Chloe appears in Cathi Stoler’s short story, “Every Picture Tells A Story,” in Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4, an anthology of crime and mystery short stories by members of the New York/Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

What is the essence of the New York experience? A stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge? A concert at Carnegie Hall? Crossing the finish line at the New York Marathon? A trip to the Bronx Zoo? Or any one of these—plus murder? These seventeen stories by members of the New York/Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime, with a foreword by Margaret Maron, explore the mystery and mayhem that lurk in every corner of the most unpredictable, irrepressible, inimitable city on the planet.

Where Crime Never Sleeps includes stories by Rona Bell – Fran Bannigan Cox – Lindsay A. Curcio – Joseph R. G. DeMarco – Ronnie Sue Ebenstein – Catherine Maiorisi – Nina Mansfield – Mary Moreno – Anita Page – Ellen Quint – Roslyn Siegel – Kathleen Snow – Triss Stein – Cathi Stoler – Mimi Weisbond – Stephanie Wilson-Flaherty – Elizabeth Zelvin

“A dream of an anthology for readers who appreciate a classic mystery unfolding in a perfectly characterized setting. A terrific collection of short stories!” —Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Ex

“A collection of stories as diverse, original and exciting as New York itself. I really loved this book.” —Alison Gaylin, USA Today bestselling author

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About the author
Cathi Stoler is the author of the three volume Laurel & Helen New York Mystery series, including Telling Lies, Keeping Secrets and The Hard Way, as well as the novella, Nick Of Time. She has recently completed a new Urban Thriller, Bar None and Out Of Time, a full-length sequel to Nick Of Time. She is the winner of the 2015 Derringer for Best Short Story “The Kaluki Kings of Queens,” as well as the 2012 Derringer Short Story finalist for “Fatal Flaw” published at Beat To A Pulp. Her stories have also been published in several anthologies and online. Cathi is Co-Vice President of Sisters in Crime New York/Tri-State, and a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. Please visit her at cathistoler.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Going Undercover with Helen McCorkendale by Cathi Stoler

Keeping SecretsI love being a private eye, really I do. Especially when I work undercover. During the last year, I’ve gone undercover as a salesperson at an upscale 5th Avenue department store, posed as a tourist buying counterfeit designer handbags on Canal Street, and installed myself in luxury hotel across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a bitchy rich matron. I even have a closet on the top floor of my brownstone filled with my ‘working clothes’, disguises I use to fit in and get in anywhere.

Being right in the thick of things gets my adrenaline pumping. Most of the time, anyway. The case I just finished, was the one exception. It was one of those times when I definitely would have been happier sitting at my desk in my office.

It all began when my good friend and insurance investigator, Joe Santangelo, hired me to tail a hood named Ralphie Bonaturo. Ralphie was Joe’s prime suspect in the high-end heist of a diamond ring from the apartment of a wealthy couple on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. What Joe didn’t know, and neither did I, is that Ralphie was connected to the Sal Santucci New York crime family. Ralphie, a low-level wannabe, was the night doorman at The Three Aces, the mob’s social club on Carmine Street. His hours began when most people were going home for the evening and lasted well into the early morning, which meant that mine did, too.

Watching Ralphie had been a real treat. Disguised as a dirt-streaked homeless bag lady in a tattered coat piled with unraveling scarves, I’d been hanging around the alley across from the club for several nights, rummaging through the overflowing dumpster between the Chinese takeout place and the Italian salumeria. It was a good location, except for the rats that were showing me their pointy teeth in anticipation of nibbling on me for their next meal.

The last night of the stakeout, things got interesting. The club, which was usually just a hangout for Santucci’s crew, turned into a real crime buster’s convention. A line of long black limos with Jersey plates pulled up one after the other and disgorged a procession of too-tanned men in sleek suits flanked by beefed up bodyguards. Somehow, I didn’t think their presence had anything to do with Joe’s missing diamond ring.

When I got home I was tired and dirty and figured I’d call Joe in the morning and fill him in on what I’d observed. Santucci was definitely up to something. What I didn’t know then, was that it would also involve my other good friend, Laurel Imperiole, a senior editor at Women Now magazine.

Laurel had received several emails from of a reader asking for her help. The woman suspected her fiancé wasn’t who he said he was and was frightened of him. The emails had given Laurel the idea to write a story about hidden identity and she decided to use her boyfriend, Matt Kuhn, a Swiss banker, as the model of a good guy with nothing to hide. Not the best idea since everybody has something they’re keeping secret. Laurel asked me to investigate her boyfriend’s background and report in. An even worse idea as it turned out.

Helping Laurel got us both into a heap of trouble as we tangled with the mob, International banking and a murderer who was doing his best to kill us to keep the truth from becoming known.

You can read more about Helen and Laurel in Keeping Secrets, the second book in the “Laurel and Helen New York Mystery” series from Camel Press. The first book in the series is Telling Lies, a story that deals with stolen Nazi art. Both are available on Amazon or through bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on January 24, and you will be entered to win a copy of either the print OR Kindle version of Keeping Secrets. One winner will be chosen at random.

Meet the author
Cathi Stoler is a native New Yorker who always wanted to be Nancy Drew. Since that didn’t happen, she turned to solving crimes through writing about them. Her mysteries feature P.I. Helen McCorkendale and magazine editor, Laurel Imperiole in her Laurel and Helen New York Mystery series. Novels with these two protagonists include Telling Lies, Keeping Secrets and The Hard Way, releasing in April ’14. She has also published a novella, Nick of Time, and is working on a new series, Bar None, A Murder on The Rocks Mystery featuring Jude Dillane, a New Yorker, like Cathi herself. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, as well as Sisters in Crime and posts at the Women of Mystery blog.

Visit Cathi at www.cathistoler.com or on Facebook.

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