Posts Published by Jacqueline Seewald

Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Twenty of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her most recent mystery novels are DEATH PROMISE and BLOOD FAMILY. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies such as: THE WRITER, L.A. TIMES, READER’S DIGEST, PEDESTAL, SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY MAGAZINE, OVER MY DEAD BODY!, GUMSHOE REVIEW, LIBRARY JOURNAL, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR.

The Bokor

( 4.8 stars · 4 reviews )

“St. Croix, you’re coming with me.”

Lieutenant Jim Connelly, Manhattan NYPD, spoke with an air of authority. Connelly rolled up the sleeves of his conservative white shirt. A creature of habit, he wore a long-sleeved white shirt to work each day, just as he kept his graying hair cropped military short. Sergeant Lou Minetti who usually partnered with Connolly on homicide investigations raised bushy eyebrows questioningly.

Bert St. Croix knew what was going on and could have explained it to Minetti. She’d been promoted from uniform officer to detective third grade recently and then quickly moved up to a coveted spot in the homicide division. This was all well and good, except that the fellow detectives she was now working with did not think she could handle the job. She was certain Lt. Connelly was planning to test her. Bert had every intention of winning his respect and that of other detectives who worked homicide division. But she knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

She’d overheard Minetti talking with some of the others behind her back.

“St. Croix must have kissed some serious butt to get moved up so quick.”

There was a general buzz of agreement. Then Detective Randall, a rosy-faced, burly cop said, “I think St. Croix got the promotion because she’s black and a woman. That’s killing two minority requirements at once. The brass just loves that.”

Bert didn’t bother to let them know she’d overheard the conversation. There wasn’t any point. Their minds were closed. She walked quietly away. As far as Bert was concerned, she had nothing to prove. She’d gotten the job because she’d done quality work as an officer and passed all the requirements for detective. No, she didn’t have to prove herself. She’d just do her job. They would discover the truth in time. Being a female cop and a woman of color besides wasn’t an easy path to travel but she had no regrets. This was the right job for her.

“Ready?” Connolly asked.

“Right with you,” she said, pulling on her leather jacket.

It was a freezing cold, fall day in the city. The wind cut across her face like a switch blade. Bert said nothing. No use complaining or stating the obvious.

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The Jury Consultant

( 5 stars · 2 reviews )

“Tom, you’ve gone from practicing civil law at a big firm in New York City to representing scumbag criminals.” My old man shook his head and wrinkled his nose in disapproval. The overhead lighting reflected off his bald dome as if to intensify the harshness of his comment.

“Look, Pop, I’m working for myself. No one tells me what cases to take or not take. I’m my own boss and that’s the way I like it. And frankly, civil law is not that civil.”

“Mr. Atkins, your son is a wonderful lawyer. You should see him defending clients in a courtroom.”  Lara Lopez, university grad student and my part-time legal assistant, besides being beautiful, was also supportive. I flashed her an appreciative smile.

The old man wasn’t buying it though. “I said it before and I’ll say it again, your office looks like a cheap imitation of Sam Spade’s, and it sucks.”

In all fairness, my office did look a tad stark. Even my mother’s amateur landscape paintings covering cracks in the walls didn’t improve the ambiance much. The blue wallpaper was faded and peeling. Someone, probably a previous tenant, ground chewing gum into the worn gray carpet, making a statement. Two battered wooden desks and shabby chairs were what passed for office furniture. If a person wasn’t careful, he or she would end up with splinters in the nether zones. A single narrow window permitted a view of a brick wall and a dirty alley replete with overflowing garbage cans.

“Nothing short of a bomb blast could help this place,” the old man said shaking his head. “Lawyers are a dime a dozen. You should have gone into construction work fulltime like I did. That’s a useful trade. When a person needs a plumber or electrician, you bet they don’t try to nickel and dime them the way they do a lawyer.”

I did my best to control my temper. My old man had a way of making me lose it. But no point arguing with him. My old man was never going to change.

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