It's out! The Place Of Refuge, the first novel featuring Detective Errol Coutinho of the Hawaii County Police, is available:
THIS JUST IN.
The first Diana novel, The Same Mistake Twice is now available from the e-book publisher Untreed Reads. All e-book formats are available.
Welcome to home of the Diana Andrews stories. I hope you'll feel free to see what's here. Just don't tell Diana she has a heart of gold.
It might even be true, but she doesn’t want to hear it. She needs to believe that she is the toughest, smartest woman in a hard, cold business. She’s a prostitute who works behind closed doors, where the dangers can match those on the street. Two hundred dollars an hour may sound like a good payday, but sometimes it doesn’t cover the damage.
Diana lives and works in Sussex County in the northern tip of New Jersey. She moves easily between her hardscrabble hometown and the upper middle class suburbs surrounding it. But wherever her business takes her, trouble rides along, because greed, lust and revenge breach all barriers of class and wealth.
The Diana story started as a mental picture of a man and a woman standing by a car on the shoulder of a deserted highway. I was tackling my first assignment in a writing class at the Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. Somehow I knew the man wanted to kill the woman. I decided that he was a police officer and she a prostitute, and that I wanted her to be the sympathetic character. In finding a plausible motive for the cop, I decided to make that character a woman also, and a victim of sexual jealousy. The story turned out well, but I realized that it read more like the first chapter of a larger work.
That insight set my course for the next ten years. The results include six Diana novels. All are currently unpublished, but the first in the series is due out soon from the ebook publisher Untreed Reads. Their titles are:
The Same Mistake Twice
The Homicide Sisters
The Good Place
I foresee at least two more books in the series.
Seventy short stories from the Diana universe have appeared in print and online publications. One story, called Bismarck Rules, is included in the anthology The Best American Mystery Stories 2010, edited by Lee Child and Otto Penzler. More recently, supporting characters from the novel Tentacles, in which Diana travels to the Big Island of Hawaii with a dangerous client, have been carrying some stories of their own.
Why a prostitute? It took me a while answer the question, even as my word count approached the half million mark. I finally decided to stop thinking so much, because it all goes back to my love of dark crime fiction. I concluded that prostitution, with the deception and self-deception that it requires on both sides of the transaction, leads to mayhem of the most fascinating kind.
So, please visit the rest of this website, read a sample story, follow the links to other short stories, and I hope you’ll agree that Diana Andrews lives at the heart of noir.