The Detective's Garden
A Love Story and Meditation on Murder
The Detective’s Garden: A Love Story and Meditation on Murder is set in Brooklyn in 1995. Originally from Slovenia, ex-NYPD Homicide Detective Emil Milosec, a man with a past poised to reclaim him is perennially on the outside. Elena, his beauty of a wife, has died, but she has filled pages of letters to him—which he has so far refused to read. Elena always remained elusive to him, and she still is.
An ugly discovery among the leafy haven of their backyard garden unsettles the uneasy truce Emil has managed since Elena’s death. A lively cast of local characters, a dark history and an international mystery all inform the story. Underpinning events are a heat wave, the Brooklyn housing bubble underway, a gun that goes off, and a smattering of science. A little bit Sophocles, a dash of Shakespeare, and tablespoons of Old Testament go into a brew that is both contemplative and neo-noirish.
Set in 1995, this leisurely yet convoluted thriller from Stefan-Cole (Hollywood Boulevard) opens with the philosophical musings of retired police detective Emil Milosec as he sits alone one June night in the garden of his Brooklyn house. He ponders the Garden of Eden and original sin ("Did Adam perform not too fast, not too slow? Did Eve respond with all she had?"). The garden was a passion of Emil's late wife, Elena, for whom he still grieves. When a severed finger turns up in the garden, Emil's suspicions fall on his usually drunken neighbor, Franco Montoya. Clues hint at a shadowy real estate plot as gentrification sweeps into the neighborhood. Or could the finger have something to do with Emil's long ago trip to Slovenia, the old country, where he met Elena? Crime fans can delight in mulling over all angles with Emil as the plot spirals toward a truly surprising revelation.