For Mystery Thriller Week, May 13-24th 2019 #MTW2019 organized by Benjamin Thomas, a Poet, Book and Audiobook Blogger, Reviewer and Writer of the website Thewritingtrain I will be writing about the hard-boiled private investigator. Originally this genre was used to distinguish more graphic violence and sex stories from the cozy mystery genre of unraveling a mystery over scones and tea in the drawing room. Raymond Chandler’s private detective character, Phillip Marlowe often dealt with morally challenged clients. The cast of these stories usually had a bad guy and an arch villain femme fatal who was a beautiful but deadly client such as Velma Valento, a.k.a. Mrs. Lewin Lockridge Grayle in Farewell My Lovely. Even in these trying circumstances, the P.I. gumshoe had a moral code to strive to right wrongs and not get “his own ticket punched”. All hard-boiled mystery genre novels deal with the mean streets and the knight errant righting wrongs and protecting the innocent.
As the genre developed, the P.I., often an outcast due to his occupation and own internal turmoil from what he saw doing his job, became more three-dimensional, even having long-term relationships. The late Robert B. Parker Boston, Massachusetts based Private Investigator, Spenser, spelled like the poet, has his Doctor Susan Silverman, a practicing psychologist. Silverman’s own expertise includes Forensic Psychology as she gives expert witness testimonies in court cases. In the tradition of the Medieval Morality Play the reader journeys along, learning what dark motivations cause the ultimate battle of Good versus Evil and how the Antagonist is always the main chess piece character in their own Evil schemes and the rest of humanity are pawns. The Protagonist detective also needs to be taken out of the game permanently if he proves enough of a complication. Spenser triumphs on the side of good with an unlikely sidekick Hawk, who enjoys the ironic challenge of being the good guy in a bad situation.
With this background history, my own Private Investigator character came to life in Fiction. I have worked as a Pathology secretary, been a full-time volunteer at a Homeless Shelter (mean streets), typed up interviews under caution, worked as Chef and an outreach nurse and as a writer been a student of Human and less Human behavior. Nathan Vallor is the hard-boiled fictional character Private Investigator based in Richmond, Virginia. Nathan sees himself as a bridge between worlds. He is ex-Army and is a survival expert tempered with Glamping techniques to accommodate his younger sister Anne’s taste for refinement.
Accounts Payable is a prequel to the first novel in the A Nathan Vallor Investigation mystery series, Haven of Danger. Nathan is investigating the murder of the husband of one of Anne’s friends, Jillian Hudson. Hank Ryan, Nathan’s back-up man runs a boxing gym near VCU. He has been “pulling Nathan’s fat out of the fire” since he met Nathan as a child after his Mother died and he and his sister moved in with his Aunt. Accounts Payable takes place when Nathan first meets his future fiancée Jillian Hudson when he investigates Jillian’s husband’s death at the request of Nathan’s sister Anne to keep an eye on her. It takes place in Richmond, Virginia, Nathan’s hometown. He manages to protect the innocent and bring the bad guys down and narrowly avoids getting his own ticket punched in an accounting cover-up that involves credits of money and debits of murder.
Haven of Danger takes place in New England and is about Richmond, Virginia based private investigator Nathan Vallor’s investigation of the death of Amos Thompson, an artist from a prominent family in New England and a friend of Vallor’s fiancée, Jillian Hudson. Amos’s mother wants to know more about her late son’s lifestyle and hires Vallor to investigate. Vallor soon finds out Mill Valley is not the idyllic town it appears to be and Amos’s sister, Verity, an antique dealer, has something to hide. Nathan is threatened, and brings in his back-up man, Hank, an ex-boxer, as he unravels the connecting web of intrigue that binds the villagers together in the trafficking of drugs.
The third mystery in A Nathan Vallor Investigation, An Ax to Grind, Richmond, Virginia based private investigator Nathan Vallor is dealing with a case of a disgruntled husband with an ax to grind, courtesy of the hallway where it used to reside. His own life is finally coming together with the imminent marriage to his fiancée Jillian Hudson. If he can diffuse and wrap up this situation, he can get to the church on time in one piece. Then they are off to the honeymoon at Virginia Beach into the sunset happily ever after. It was going to be a challenge and death till he parted one way or the other. An Ax to Grind, will be released later this year and will include, as all the mystery novels do in the series, the first chapter of the next book in the series. The fourth mystery is the series is Hooped.
About the Author
Cara E. Moore is a Crystal Healing and Herbalism Practitioner, Hatha Yoga Teacher, Illustrator, Poet, Writer, Scriptwriter, Singer-Songwriter and TEFL Instructor. She writes for Newspapers, Magazines and Online Sites on the Arts, Business, Health and Beauty, Fitness and Travel. She is the author of Crystal Healing & The Chakra System, Herbal Primer, and a collection of poems, Horizon’s Place And Time Meet. Crystal Healing Workshop Training and Herbalism Workshop Training are accredited by the World Metaphysical Association and are part of the Crystal Arts And Health Training Workshop Series. She is a Fellow in the Mantic Arts via the News Age Foundation and author of the Mantic Arts Workshops, Angel Ritual Workshop Journal, Dragon Magic Workshop Journal and Magical Oils & Incense Workshop Journal. She trained as a Hatha Yoga Teacher with the British School of Yoga and has written, Hatha Yoga & The Chakra System Workshop Journal. She is also the author of the fictional mystery series, A Nathan Vallor Investigation mystery series featuring Richmond, Virginia based P.I. Nathan Vallor. Haven of Danger: A Nathan Vallor Investigation is the first book in this series. Accounts Payable is the second book in the series and a prequel to Haven of Danger. All these books are available as a paperback and a Kindle edition. Updates on the A Nathan Vallor Investigation mystery series are available on Facebook and Goodreads as well as the Author’s website.