Nagler 5 title: ‘Dwell in the places of our horrors.’ From this scene

The gray edge of dusk chased the sunlight across the grassy expanse of the Locust Street Cemetery, a burning streak of light between. Silence, windless, settled.

Frank Nagler knelt to adjust the flower vase at his wife’s grave, his shoulders slumping in the renewed sorrow. He reached to brush imaginary dust from the top of her red granite marker, his hand seemingly powerless to move. Finally,  he stood and touched the front of Del Williams’ nearby marker. Peace, he thought, peace for both of you. He closed his eyes and felt again that last ambulance trip as the cancer  claimed Martha, the pain that had edged her fine face finally gone. And Del, gunned down.

“All of this, here.”

The flicker of an occasional eternal flame candle caught his eye, the tiniest lights in growing darkness. Are they enough?

He bowed his head and tried to still the turmoil.

When his left ankle cramped  from standing, he turned  to climb the  hill back to the road. Parked behind his own car was a black SUV.

“Jerome,” Nagler said to the smiling driver who held open the rear door.

“Frank.” Jerome raised his eyebrows and grinned.

In the car, Sister Katherine adjusted the nose piece to her oxygen unit.

“Come sit, Frank. It’s been too long.”

It had been weeks since the announcement of her illness. She seemed smaller than usual, shrunken into withered, blue-veined skin. Light from the open window infused her thinning hair with a translucent glow. Nagler felt his heart clutch at her appearance. “Sister, I…”

“No, Francis, not yet.  Not now.” She reached for his hand. “I have arranged with Father Alonzo to hold a simple ceremony,” she said, her voice thin. “I do not want the church leaders to stand before a congregation and  praise my work when they schemed so hard to end or discredit it.” She turned her head to gaze out the window and then looked back with a smile. “I would not want them to blaspheme.”

“The work you did mattered to so many.  I, well Martha and I…”

“I have watched you grow from a scrawny, poor worker’s ghetto child  into a man, a leader. I saw you and Martha face those challenges with love and bravery. That was my life. And now this is my life.”

She reached to her side and handled Nagler a manila envelope.

“I understand you have crossed paths with Mahala Dixon. She is not what she seems, which you will see as you read this.”

“How do you…?”

He had seen that smile before. “I might have chosen a way outside the main flow of life, but I not totally apart. Besides, an old nun sitting at a table during a festival will not turn down the offer of a cup of tea and conversation.” She coughed out a soft laugh. “It’s something, I believe, about the garb. Anyway I met Mahala and her mother Janelle during the time Carlton Dixon, Mahala’s father, was involved in that case  of which you have become familiar.”

“She seems like an angry kid.”

Sister Katherine nodded to the envelope. “It is more than anger. Read this.” After a silence, she said. “This is not a place of just peace. And, no, I don’t  come here to examine which plot will be mine.  It is already chosen, next to my sister. This is where we face the conflicts and trials, ask the hard questions of our lives. All these souls writhing, questions never answered. No, I don’t come here to sample the supposed peace of life, but to confront again its inequities, its pains and injustices. My sister was murdered for greed and depravity. Del, much the same. I come here to battle for the lives who were tarnished, diminished and forgotten. Before we pass, we must revisit the places of our horrors.  Mine are here.”

Nagler wanted to respond, but she cut him off.

“My horrors are here. Yours are not. Walk again the streets of the ghetto, the damaged, dirty streets of industry. Those are your places of sadness.That’s where you are, Francis, where you have always been. Ask why. And as you ask, you may see why Mahala Dixon has done the things she has done.”

She reached for his hand and kissed it with dry lips. “I must go.”

From the roadside as the SUV pulled away, Nagler wondered if he might ever see the sister again.  Before he could open the envelope, his phone rang. It was Mulligan, the medical examiner. “Got it, on my way.”

The Red Hand: A Frank Nagler Mystery by Michael Stephen Daigle, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New 5-star review for ‘The Red Hand’: ‘When you read this book you will see it play on a TV screen in your head’

5 Stars

You should buy this book. Even though it’s the fourth in the series, it’s the first in the chronology of the story, so it’s a good place to start.
The texture in Daigle’s writing is quite unusual. When they find a victim’s bracelet, you learn about the entire family of the jeweler who made it. When the detective walks down the street you see every leaf, every puddle, every paper blown against a chain-link fence. Pure imagery. When you read this book you will see it play on a TV screen in your head.
There’s a level of dramatic tension that’s maintained throughout the book. But it’s not the same throughout. Each sub-plot or sub-story has its own feeling of wtf is about to happen? When Nagler leaves a crime scene to go to this wife, the tension is different and maybe greater.
The detective is not a super smart, super sleuth. He’s an ordinary guy who could have ended up in a homeless shelter except for a wife that fell in love with him when they were seven years old. He’s new on the job, slightly over his head, and consumed by the crimes.
I often read mysteries in a single sitting. I couldn’t do that with this book. There’s too much going on. And that’s a good thing.

Previous Frank Nagler Mysteries:

THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY:

A GAME CALLED DEAD: . A Runner-Up in the Shelf Unbound 2016 Best Indie Book contest.

THE WEIGHT OF LIVING: First Place for Mysteries  in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Award contest;  Notable 100 Book, Shelf Unbound 2018 Indie Book Awards; Named a Distinguished Favorite, 2018  Independent Press Awards; Distinguished Favorite in the 2018 Big NYC Book Contest; Finalist in the 2019 Book Excellence Awards. Gold Award Winner, 2020 Elite Choice Awards.

THE RED HAND: Distinguished Favorite in the 2019 Big NYC Book Contest; Second Place winner for mysteries in the 2019 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards;  Notable 100 Book in the 2019 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Awards;  Distinguished Favorite  in the 2020 Independent Press Awards; Nominee in the 2020 TopShelf Book Award; Gold Award Winner, 2020 Elite Choice Awards.

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Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Paramus Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | 2 Comments

My Easton Book Festival interview launches at 5 p.m. Nov. 11

https://fb.me/e/d0AH5Xpu3

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NAGLER 5: Leonard, past and present

Leonard is Detective Frank Nagler oldest friend, a blind man who runs a bookstore. He has been central to three of the previous Frank Nagler Mysteries.

In the quiet times sitting alone near the  front window, Leonard would see them in his mind – Bobby,  Del Williams, Dominique – unpacking the boxes of used books, shaking off dust,  laughing at the titles and the old stylized drawings on the covers, occasionally finding  a Braille text in a box  from a school, and Dom asking him to teach the system to him. “I can learn this, boss. Be more use to you,” Dom would say, his voice so full of enthusiasm and hope, Leonard could feel the boy’s beaming smile. Leonard would run his fingers across the Braille text.  Sometimes Shakespeare, sometimes  a math text, once a Bible, and Leonard would call after Dom’s retreating steps, “Don’t call me boss.”

Dom’s laughing reply every time was, “Yes, boss.”

          And then they were gone.  That day. Killed in the hail of bullets that also put Leonard in the hospital for surgeries that tried to save his mobility and his sense of feeling, but did little to fill the hollow of isolation that surrounded him. There were days since when not even the friendly arrival of Frank Nagler’s familiar tapping foot steps could pull Leonard from the darkness.

And now the clatter of dishes at Barry’s diner counter in the far corner of the bookstore, the hum of voices, the fat aroma of bacon, fried potatoes, the sharp coffee smell, softly bitter, pushed Leonard deeper into his isolated opposite corner. The first time it happened, Leonard felt he was trapped inside a growing clear bubble that resisted his finger’s soft touch, a sensation that had not faded even when Barry’s steady, heavy footsteps would cross the wooden floor from the counter to Leonard’s wheelchair bringing lunch or a beverage, or just conversation.

Why today? he wondered as he felt the bubble thicken, the voices soften to a blur of sound like an unfocused light on a white screen. Why today, of all days, had the gloom resettled?

There had been good news from Lauren Fox. Her office had secured approval from the governor for a grant and loan package.   They could renovate the two empty warehouses  he owned for housing, and remodel the adjacent factory where his used book business was located into a street-level space for a new Barry’s, a additional  second-floor space for the used books and offices on the third floor.

Maybe it was the change in the weather. The summer had been cooler, but dry, and walking with Calista, even if he had to use the wheelchair, were days of freedom. September arrived wet and angry. Drenching storms followed by sluggish, gray days of northeast winds that often pinned him, like now,  at a front window in that damned chair.

Sighing, he reached over and touched the glass, hoping to feel its smooth coolness, hoping, really, to feel anything.

The motorized wheelchair had been dragged out of storage and the battery replaced; he had hoped that after two years of walking and the loss of all that weight, he would never need it again.

Leonard shifted and wiggled his hips as the mesh of the chair’s sides chafed against his fat and useless thighs. I want to move, he thought,  to cross the park and find a cold seat on a bench and feel the wind and hear the pigeons cooing, to feel the brush of their wings as they rested briefly at my feet, pecking at broken peanut shells, to feel the rumble of truck traffic through the cement, the scolding of a jay, the scuffle of kids fresh from school, yelling to one another as they passed. To dwell again in the swirl of life.

 He shifted away from the window and the view of the park and bitterly knew again that the space would never remind him of cheerful times. Each time he closed his eyes he would see the strike of the first  bullet into the wooden podium, hear the shouted instructions to run and duck and above that, the urgent cry from Del. “Take my arm,” and then the  grunt as Del  was struck by a bullet and the pain and blackness that followed as he, too, was struck; then falling. Then the silence.

The door near him swished open.,

“Hey, Barry, gimme a lunch special, and coffee, black,” the unseen customer  yelled even before the front door closed. Then a firm hand on his arm, “Hey, Len. “How ya doing?”

The touch and the voice, shocked Leonard from his reverie. “Good. I’m, I’m  good. Thanks.”

“No problem,” said the happy voice. “Glad to see ya up and about.”

Leonard smiled and blinked away a sudden tear.

That had been part of the adjustment, Leonard knew. His own customers were reserved, almost meek, in comparison to Barry’s, who blustered into the shop, shouting life into the staid, dry air of the bookstore.

In that instant, through that voice, by that touch, the world returned.

Find the Nagler Mysteries online here:

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Stephen-Daigle/e/B00P5WBOQC

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nagler 5: ‘Waiting for the Lies’

A new sample from Nagler 5, now called “Waiting for the Lies.”

 

An  explosion  leveled two blocks of downtown Ironton. Lauren Fox, the city planner (and Frank Nagler’s companion,  is charged with determining a redevelopment plan, but sees trouble from the start.

Lauren Fox forced  her way through the half-opened door into the lobby of a bank she had commandeered  on Blackwell,  a block away from the explosion site.  Hurried, over-caffeinated and mind filled with details, she had forgotten that entry doors opened outward and had tried to shoulder it open inward. Instead, she shifted her shoulder bag and box of records she was carrying to the left,  grabbed the handle with three fingers of her right hand and pulled the door open enough to jam her left foot into the gap,  and then turning a half-circle, pushed the door open enough with her foot that she could slither through the opening.

Inside, she exhaled, dropped the shoulder bag with a thump, and kneeling, more gently placed the box next to it, trying not to spill the metal cup of coffee inside the box.

“If getting into the building was that hard, what’s day going to be like,” she muttered.

She had taken two calls the first day. One from Calista Knox telling her that Leonard’s  store would be open all day and night  as long as needed, and  second  from Mayor Jesus Ollivar, telling her to begin planning for the recovery.

She laughed sourly the day before when she had arrived at the bank for the first time. The place had no desks, just computer work stations atop pedestals anchored to the floor. Alright, she told herself. Nothing will be easy.  She had  the pedestals  ripped out and carpeted the floor with an sixty-four-square-foot tax-map version of downtown Ironton taped to the floor.

The bank manager had protested. “We had volunteered our lobby out of civic responsibility,” he chirped, dancing  around the room, following  Lauren as she gave directions to her staff and the public works crew that were clearing out the space. He stepped in front of her and said,  “I must protest. This is not what we agreed to.”

Lauren, working on her third day of three hours of sleep a night, and more coffee than any one human could absorb, held up her right hand. She closed her eyes, took a calming breath,  and then opened her left eye to a narrow, glaring  slit.

“Mr. Jenkins, I thank you for the use of your space, but I’m the city planner and in this declared emergency I can do whatever the hell I want or need to do.”

That was surprisingly calm.

She stepped around him, and he slid to stop her. His eyes blazed behind his little round  glasses and his lips pulled his mustache over his mouth.  “I must consider…”

The calmness deserted her. Lauren put a hand on his shoulder and steered him aside. “Buddy, I got about a minute of patience left and if you have a problem you can call the mayor. I’m sure with two smoking blocks of  downtown piled up across the street,  he’ll be thrilled to hear from a whiny bank manager about how we have disrupted his precious office lobby.” She turned to face him. “To which no one will be coming for while, by the way.”

“Well, I’ll …”  and he walked away.

“Hey, Mr. Civic Responsibility,” Lauren called after him, “Drag a couple of those desks from the back offices and put them up against the wall.” She smiled. “Thank you.” She tipped her head to the right to indicate the spot. Jenkins huffed out a  breath and turned to the back of the lobby.  “Hey, Marty, give him a hand, huh?”

Failing to suppress a grin, Marty, a public works foreman, patted Jenkins on the back and said, “Mr. Jenkins, let’s move some office furniture. Can you help me do that?” He looked back and winked at Lauren. “Don’t mind her, she gets better by noon.”

Lauren knelt down to one of the maps, markers in hand, bit the corner of her lip and said, “Ha!”

The stiff shuffling of paper and soft phone conversations took the edge off the silence of the high-ceilinged room with marble floors. The bank was built more than a hundred fifty years ago as a showplace to store the iron money that build Ironton. Its thick brick structure helped it survive a fire in 1883 that wiped out the blocks of wooden buildings on the eastern side of downtown; it was used in that fire as the last line of defense against the raging, advancing inferno.  She had placed a brass plaque on the bank a few years ago to mark that event.

Wasn’t there something funny about that fire? she asked herself, but then shook away the concern. Not now.

The tax maps had already been marked with four black crosses and dates, indicating a spot where a victim had been found.

Lauren leaned over the map and scratched a green cross over a blue-outlined lot   and block. Cleared. Then she ran a finger over a long row of papers taped next to the maps until she found  the corresponding address and apartment. She marked another green cross.

She leaned back on her folded ankles and shook her head.  I don’t get why they’ve only found four victims.

Two days after the explosion searchers found the first victim, an eighty-seven year old woman, Agnes Marchand. She lived on the second floor above the antique shop and died when the ceiling and roof fell on her.

Lauren examined the maps and nodded when she found the black marker with a date.

A day later, the second and third victims were found  two buildings over. Their identities  were being researched. The landlord said they were Marita and Juan Hernandez.  But an identification card in a wallet in the apartment rubble said his last name was Morales. Their deaths had been recorded on the map, Lauren saw.

On the fourth  day, the last victim was found, a twenty-year-old cook, Ethan Ricardo, who was called “Rickey,”  at the Cuban restaurant on the corner of Warren and Blackwell. The initial investigation said the explosion started in the basement of that shop. His death was so marked.

Lauren scanned the list of names and addresses that ran along side of the tax maps. The list held about fifty names:  Parents, kids, singles.

“Something’s wrong,” she muttered as she grabbed a fistful of her brown hair and pulled it up and away from her head. She examined the split ends. “Man, I need a trim.”

 

Where to get the Frank Nagler Mysteries (ebook, paperback and selected audiobooks):

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Stephen-Daigle/e/B00P5WBOQC

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-red-hand-michael-stephen-daigle/1132368097

Kirkus Pro Page: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/r/my-pro/

 

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE RED HAND featured on Karen’s Killer Book Bench

Read all about THE RED HAND, The award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery on Karen’s Killer Book Bench: https://wp.me/p4pimt-62W

Thanks to Karen Doctor for the opportunity.

THE RED HAND: It’s the time of pay phones, fax machines and piles of paperwork.

And in Ironton, N.J., nine women have been killed, their deaths played out over months as fear grows in the city.

Into this scenario is newly-minted Detective Frank Nagler, eager to take on the task of finding the killer, but daunted by the description supplied by the medical examiner: “What we have here is an experiment in death.”

“The Red Hand” is a prequel to the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series. Among the characters we meet are Charlie Adams, a teenage hoodlum and Martha Nagler, Frank’s wife, whose love carries him through the bad times ahead.

Can an old-style detective story capture a modern audience?

It can if it is filled with characters that resonate, has a love story for the ages, settings that carry weight and is layered with issues that raise the story above the everyday.

It’s gritty, moving, probably confounding, but it resonates.

Women are missing. Missing would imply a willingness to leave.

Women are not missing: They were taken.

Elite Choice Awards Judge feedback: Author Michael Stephen Daigle has delivered a truly masterful work of fiction. From the very first page, the story draws you in and has you hooked. The writing is fast passed and punchy and he book is filled with vivid descriptions. The characters  have been well-developed and it is evident that their backstories have been meticulously crafted.  Overall this book is highly recommended for readers looking for a compelling murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

“The Red Hand” was named a Distinguished Favorite in the 2019 Big NYC Book Contest

Named Second Place winner for mysteries in the 2019 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards

Named a Notable 100 Book in the 2019 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Awards

Named a Distinguished Favorite  in the 2020 Independent Press Awards

A Nominee in the 2020 TopShelf Book Awards

Named A Gold Star Award winner in the 2020 Elite Choice Book Awards

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can not stand, brother?

Can not stand, brother?

Take my hand.

Can not walk. brother?

Take my cane.

 

Are you hungry sister?

Take my bread.

Are you thirsty, little one?

Take my water.

 

Are you cold, brother?

Take my coat.

Can not you see, sister?

Take my light.

Have you no voice, little one?

Take my horn.

Are you alone, brother?

Walk with me.

Are you bruised and afraid, sister?

Take my love.

Are you lost in a darkness, little one?

Take my knowledge.

 

Take these things from me.

They were passed to me by another.

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Leave a comment

THE RED HAND and THE WEIGHT of LIVING named Gold Star Winners in Elite Choice Book Awards

To my great astonishment, THE RED HAND and THE WEIGHT OF LIVING, both part of the Frank Nagler Mystery series, published by Imzadi Publishing, have each been named a GOLD STAR WINNER by the Elite Choice Book Awards.

My thanks to the judges and to Imzadi Publishing for supporting this  series.

THE RED HAND

Elite Choice Awards Judge feedback: Author Michael Stephen Daigle has delivered a truly masterful work of fiction. From the very first page, the story draws you in and has you hooked. The writing is fast passed and punchy and he book is filled with vivid descriptions. The characters  have been well-developed and it is evident that their backstories have been meticulously crafted.  Overall this book is highly recommended for readers looking for a compelling murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Also, a new review:

 

5.0 out of 5 stars killer story

Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2020

Verified Purchase

Frank Nagler has his hands full with a serial killer on the loose, departmental infighting and political intrigue. Throw in personal drama and the rookie detective’s plate is pretty full. Only dogged determination and a hunger for mystery solving keeps his head above water. “The Red Hand” is well written and easy to read. The mystery keeps the pages turning. Glad I started with Book 4. Now I can move on to Book 1.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TV94SKZ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

 

THE WEIGHT OF LIVING:

 

Elite Choice Awards judge feedback: Fast paced and filled with exciting twists and turns, THE WEIGHT OF LIVING , is everything you love about a traditional mystery novel and then some. The book is well written, meticulously plotted and keeps you on the edge of your seat of your seat the entire way through. The characters are fully developed and believable, with Frank Nagler offering sharp and compelling dialogue as the story’s protagonist. The book is filled with vivid, brilliant descriptions that make you feel you are living and breathing each scene with the characters. Overall this book is a highly recommended page turner!

An additional new review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Tight Plot, Great Characters, Great Writing

Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2020

Verified Purchase

Book three in a terrific series, the author, Michael Stephen Daigle, weaves a fast paced, convoluted, dark crime thriller. This novel starts with what looks like a simple mystery (a young girl is found in a grocery store Dumpster on a cold March night wearing just shorts and a tank top.) and winds up a complex decades old thriller. I enjoyed this book very much. The author certainly keeps you on your toes from the start.
Highly recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071CXW1JW/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

 

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nagler 5: ‘You Were Never Here’

Frank Nagler Book 5 is on the way.

This story follows THE WEIGHT OF LIVING.

The key elements:

A destructive fire that ruins a section  of downtown Ironton, N.J.

The request by a police cadet that Nagler open a cold case that put her father in jail for most of her life.

Nagler’s state of mind. Following the end of THE WEIGHT OF LIVING, which had crushing consequences for Nagler, he was assigned to the police academy. He must prove to the police captain and the town’s  mental health professionals that he is ready for street duty again. He is fighting for his job.

 

The working title: YOU WERE NEVER HERE. 

I’d say look for it Spring 2021.

“The kitchen chair caught his attention.

  Of all the things  stretched out before him – a smoking, broken two-block section of downtown Ironton, the hundreds of hard-hatted searchers, firefighters in full turnout gear, police in battle gear, rows of ambulances, police cars, fire trucks, all flashing red and blue lights off the cracked windows and dusty air, clustered officials,  pointing this way and that, reading oversized street maps resting on the hoods of cars, and beyond it all, a huddled crowd of on-lookers—of all that,  Frank Nagler focused on a single, undamaged metal kitchen chair with yellow upholstery standing  upright on the roof of the old theater a half-block way. (Photo by Nguyen Bui, Upsplash)

He had climbed to the highest  point near downtown, the new bridge that crossed the river, to gain some perspective on the blast scene: What he guessed was an explosive natural gas leak had over night destroyed a block of Warren Street and the flying debris had damaged neighboring buildings that contained businesses and apartments.

The building fronts facing Warren street were gone, along with partial roofs. Walls between buildings had caved in after the explosion and fire.

But there was that single kitchen chair.

“That seems odd,” he said. “Is that even possible?”

“What’s odd?”  a voice to his left asked.

“That you’d find me here, for one thing,” Nagler said to reporter Jimmy Dawson.

“I’m not even supposed to be here.”

Dawson lowered his smart phone that he had been using to record video of the scene. “That’s why I knew  you’d be here. Actually I followed you from downtown. I knew you’d find the best vantage point.”

Nagler waved his hand toward the scene. “So, what have you heard?”
Dawson slipped the phone into a pocket. “Same as you. Natural gas, old wooden buildings.”

“Look at all the damage. That make sense?”

Dawson smiled and shrugged.  He’s been off the front lines for six months and still understands more than the cops on the beat. “Makes sense till it doesn’t.”

“What do you think about that?” Nagler asked, pointing to the kitchen chair.

“Does that make sense? That chair, on that roof?  Not crushed, A perfect four-point landing? Okay, the blast and the fire hollowed out the buildings, but the gas lines would have entered the buildings below street level. Even if you filled one of those restaurant cellars with gas, that’s what twenty-by ten? Twenty-by-ten what, cubed? squared? I’ve been down there. They’re damp and moldy, but maybe that doesn’t matter…” He glanced  again at  the chair on the theater roof.

“How much force would it take to blow a chair a half a block in the air from inside a building?”

Dawson laughed, “I don’t know.”

“Who would?”

“I know some Army explosives experts at Picatinny. Could ask them.”

Nagler smiled. “You know, Dawson, that sounds like a really good idea. Why don’t you do that. Tell me what they say.” Sourly,

“After I’m reinstated.”

Dawson laughed. “You need to get back to work, Frank.”

Nagler rolled his head on his shoulders, closed his eyes and sighed. “Got that right, Jimmy. I’ve got one more meeting with the chief.” He stared at the kitchen chair again. “Now if the blast did not launch that chair into the air where it did a somersault and landed on its feet, why is it there?”

Dawson shrugged. “Maybe they wanted a front row seat to the fireworks.” “

 

 

Previous Frank Nagler Mysteries:

THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY:

 

A GAME CALLED DEAD: . A Runner-Up in the Shelf Unbound 2016 Best Indie Book contest.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AAKHH9G/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

 

THE WEIGHT OF LIVING: First Place for Mysteries  in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Award contest;  Notable 100 Book, Shelf Unbound 2018 Indie Book Awards; Named a Distinguished Favorite, 2018  Independent Press Awards; Distinguished Favorite in the 2018 Big NYC Book Contest; Finalist in the 2019 Book Excellence Awards.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071CXW1JW/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

 

THE RED HAND: Distinguished Favorite in the 2019 Big NYC Book Contest; Second Place winner for mysteries in the 2019 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards;  Notable 100 Book in the 2019 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Awards;  Distinguished Favorite  in the 2020 Independent Press Awards; Nominee in the 2020 TopShelf Book Awards

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TV94SKZ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

 

 

 

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RED HAND interview with Steve Miletto

Thanks Steve.

My interview with Steven Miletto on writing and THE RED HAND, https://teachinglearningleadingk12.podbean.com/e/michael-s-daigle-discusses-creating-characters-writing-and-his-latest-thriller-the-red-hand-302/

From Steve: The interview is now published on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Podbean, Stitcher, the Education Podcast Network, VoicEd Radio (Canada), and a few smaller podcast platforms.

 

I am getting about 1150+ downloads an episode right now. 80% of my audience is from the US (with California, New York, Texas, and Georgia having the larger audiences).

The rest of my listeners are from around the world – Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom are leading the way with the most listens.

I also will share the show on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fiction, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments