This is Stan the Man Charnofsky, author of the novel, Charlotte, published by Devil’s Party Press. I say Stan the Man because that is what the great baseball player, Stan Musial, of the Cardinals, was called, and I started my adult years as a professional baseball player–though my career was with the Yankees. After baseball, I became a psychologist, college professor and finally a writer.
So now, Devils Party Press will be publishing a sequel to Charlotte, called Accident: A Charlotte Smart Mystery. For those who don’t know, the Charlotte story was about a seventy-year old living in a retirement village in Pennsylvania, who teams
with a detective to solve the murder of Claire Hazelton, whom the local doctors and others wrote off as a natural death because she was “old.” I have news for you. Old age is not a disease!
In the Charlotte tale, there are numerous twists and turns, culminating in an Agatha Christie style ending with all possible suspects in one room, and with Charlotte confronting each one until the culprit is revealed.
In the sequel, Accident, which takes place across the Delaware River, in New Jersey, there is loss, grief, tenderness and a love affair:
Two little sisters run toward a familiar figure and are struck down by a speeding vehicle, the younger of the two killed, while the older, a ten year old, is traumatized but survives. As in the first novel, no foul play is suspected as all believe it to be a tragic accident.
Detective Hartunian, friendly with the New Jersey detective who has been assigned the case, is called in to help, and realizes that Charlotte Smart is more intuitive than he, especially when it comes to tender emotions. He invites her to join in the investigation. Was it really an accident? Ah, well, in the end, just as with Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s heroine, Charlotte gathers all the suspects together and the detectives permit her to do her magic.
I’ll bet most people don’t know that Agatha Christie went missing late in her career, and no one knew where she was for a few months. She eventually showed up in a small hotel, and explained she needed to escape the bright lights of fame. Good thing she returned, because after that she wrote Murder on the Orient Express, which many considered her mystery masterpiece.
Miss Marple and, hopefully, Charlotte Smart, display remarkable courage in their pursuits of justice. Which reminds me of a quote from Mark Twain: “It is curious–curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.”
Adios to all~