During the period when Shelly Reuben was investigating arson as a private detective and certified fire investigator, she came across individuals and events that tantalized her mind and touched her heart. Add to this a vivid imagination and an indelible belief that, even if virtue does not always triumph, it will eventually manage to hobble, stumble or stride triumphantly 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, and his reluctant assistant who travels through time to revisit her past.