I never contemplated writing a series. But it seems my characters had other ideas and kept intruding on my imagination. I've just completed the fourth novel in my Sticks Hetrick mystery series and am preparing to submit it to my publisher for consideration.
In this novel, a wealthy doctor and entrepreneur reunited with a strayed son brings his family home to rural Swatara Creek. Investigation of the murder of an out-of-state reporter keeps bringing Sticks and his team back to this family.
The question here is one of identity.
Can anyone truly ever know another person? Who we are and how others see us is, at best, a matter of perception. The word person comes from the Latin and originally referred to the mask worn by actors. We, all of us, conceal our true identity behind the mask we present to others.
Sticks is still serving as unofficial consultant to Police Chief Aaron Brubaker but Hetrick’s political enemies are driving a wedge between the two friends which threatens to end their professional relationship. Hetrick’s new love-interest, Anita Bailey, is prodding him to accept a job offer as investigator in the county prosecutor’s office where she works. Hetrick’s interested but fears Brubaker might see it as confirmation he conspired with the politicians.
There are sub-plots concerning the ongoing relationship of Officers Flora Vastine and Harry Minnich, an attempt by professional criminal Earl 'Fingers' Schurke to go straight, and a competitive threat to Lena Stroble's restaurant.