Saturday, February 15, 2014

Too Quiet In Brooklyn by Susan Russo Anderson

A Look Into One Mystery Writer’s Haunted Mind:

My path to the writing of Too Quiet In Brooklyn is a complicated one. I’m going to make it as straightforward as possible by saying that although I’d been writing historical mysteries for many years, one day a character and her core issue entered my head. As I got to know her, I realized she lives in the now, specifically in today’s Brooklyn.

The result was the Fina Fitzgibbons mystery series beginning with Too Quiet In Brooklyn published in December 2013. Currently the second book, Missing Brandy, is undergoing edits, and I’m writing the third book in the series, Whiskey’s Gone.

For me, writing begins with characters and their issues. It begins with characters who enter my mind and who must tell their story and in the process, I hope, intrigue and please readers.

Protagonists and antagonists alike take hold of my head for some unfathomable reason. And I think there are core issues of our time that we grapple with and they create conflict and story. A person’s privacy is one of the biggest issues we face, along with the age-old search for love and belonging.

The ragged state of some people’s lives and what they do is another issue of our time. We try to understand people who are irredeemably lost, maybe because of crimes committed against them, or maybe not. We don’t comprehend why they hurt and maim uncontrollably and for no apparent reason. Ralph, for instance, is an assassin who never questions his orders. He plays a big part in the main storyline of Too Quiet In Brooklyn and although he commits great crimes and I’d never want a child of mine to meet up with him, still, there’s a big part of me trying to understand him, perhaps even grieving for him.

But the main character of this mystery series is Fina Fitzgibbons, a twenty-two year-old detective who lives with her boyfriend, Denny, in the Vinegar Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. She mourns the loss of her mother, sometimes with an overwhelming ache. She hasn’t forgiven her father for leaving. She fears loving and losing. She’s wary of trampling on the privacy of others. She’s not perfect, not by a long shot. Sometimes she takes Denny for granted; sometimes she’s jealous of Detective First Grade Jane Templeton; sometimes she makes snap judgments. But she’s smart and she’s got that wizard thing going on. And something else about Fina—she never, ever gives up.

In Too Quiet In Brooklyn, Fina finds a throttled woman in the heart of Brooklyn Heights. She discovers that the dead woman’s young grandson, Charlie, is also missing and begins a hunt for the strangler-kidnapper, Ralph. During the chase, she resists falling in love with her boyfriend, Denny, steps on the toes of Detective First Grade Jane Templeton, and uncovers secrets about her own past. In the end, Ralph has a deadly surprise for Fina.

Susan Russo Anderson is a writer, a mother, a grandmother, a widow, a graduate of Marquette University, a member of Sisters In Crime, a member of the Historical Novel Society. She has taught language arts and creative writing, worked for a publisher, an airline, an opera company. She lived in Brooklyn for fourteen years and misses it. Like Faulkner’s Dilsey, she’s seen the best and the worst, the first and the last. Through it all, and to understand it somewhat, she writes. You can read more about her books and read her blog at You can find her books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Sony.


Susan Russo Anderson said...

Thanks, Jean for the opportunity to meet your readers. This is a fabulous blog and you make me look so good!

BTW, I just finished A Murder in Paradise and loved it. Although the fifth in the series, it was my intro to Logan & Cafferty. I hope they never stop running into bodies.

Jean Henry Mead said...

It's great to have you join us here this week, Susan. And thanks for the kind words about my own series.

Malcolm Campbell said...

A very enjoyable look at the writing process.


Michael said...

Nice profile story. Enjoyed reading this.

marja said...

This sounds like an intriguing series. Thank you for sharing the background.
Marja McGraw

Susan Russo Anderson said...

Thank you Malcolm, Michael, and Marja for taking the time to read my guest post and for your comments. Believe me, it means a lot to me.

Sheila Deeth said...

Glad I found the link to this. Enjoyed reading it.

Susan Russo Anderson said...

Thanks, Sheila!