Please welcome guest author Triss Stein, a fellow New York gal.

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“Write what you know.”  That is standard advice for a new writer but perhaps what you actually know is not that interesting to others or yourself?  I once tried to write a book about a former long-time job, and soon realized I did not want to spend another mental minute there! A good corollary is “Write what you want to know.”  Hmm. There is a lot one could do with that.

After writing a few mysteries, I came up with another one, or really, I think it came to me. “Write what matters to you.”  All three of the first mysteries (two published, one lost when my publisher dropped their mystery line) had an underlying theme that just crept in. No one knows this except me, but they were all, in some way, about parents and children.  I finally realized I should be writing about that on purpose.

I asked myself: what else matters to me? I love history. I always have. I was fascinated by books that told me how little girls like me lived “a long time ago.” How did things get to be the way they are always seemed like the place to start any subject, and old anything seemed more interesting than new.

I love Brooklyn. I’ve lived here long enough to see it change from a time when young families moving here instead of the suburbs were considered  pioneers, to now, when even in Paris Brooklyn is considered the home of  all things “hip” (!).  That is a good change, a destructive change, or it is just change, the one constant of big city life. It all depends on where you’re standing.  Is there conflict about those changes?  You bet.


After many years, I have a new mystery out and it is called Brooklyn Bones.  Erica, my heroine is a true Brooklyn girl. She is also a somewhat young single mother of Chris, a teen-age daughter. She is a somewhat old graduate student in urban history, pursuing her hometown’s past and encountering both old and new crime in the process.

In this first book, the past comes crashing right into the present when the body of  a teen-age girl is found during her house renovation. The body is not nearly as old as the house. There are still people around who know the tragic who and why, and intend to keep it a secret buried forever.

I’m knee deep in the difficult middle of the next one, which includes the historic and beautiful Green-Wood Cemetery, Tiffany glass windows, and a charming (I hope!) turn of the last century mystery. And some modern crime of course.  Plus some difficulties Erica has on the other end of the parent/child continuum, as the grown child of her own father.

Luckily for me, history keeps happening and Chris is only fifteen, so Erica has a lot of parenting ahead. And trust me on this- there is no end to the stories I can tell about Brooklyn.

Triss Stein is a small–town girl from New York state’s dairy country who has spent most of her adult life living and working in New York city. This gives her the useful double vision of a stranger and a resident for writing mysteries about Brooklyn, her ever-fascinating, ever-changing, ever-challenging adopted home.

You can find Brooklyn Bones, a new mystery from Poisoned Pen Press, at: