Tag Archives: Edward M. Krauss

A Story of Bad Blitz

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A Murder Mystery… A Romance… Intertwined

Mystery, Romantic Mystery

Publisher: Global Authors Publications

 

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A Story Of Bad features a woman and a man, both intelligent with strong
personalities.

She is June Replyn, a city reporter working the business side of the
fashion world. June is asked to write a story about how a small company, a
clothing factory, survives the death – by murder – of its inspirational
leader.

He is Detective Terry Stans. Reviewing clues and interviews, Detective
Stans comes away with the impression that the dead man knew his assailant,
and his dedicated workers and bereaved family are all prospective
suspects.

One day June is at the clothing factory gathering additional material, and
Terry is there, continuing his investigation. The detective is stuck. The
case is going nowhere, and he believes that the fashion writer has a better
view of the inside workings of the company than he has been afforded. Hoping
that fresh eyes will see something he hasn’t, he obtains a promise from her
that nothing will be printed without his permission, then he invites her to
come to his precinct station and review the file. Not long after, he invites
her to dinner at his favorite ribs joint.

This novel is about a reporter and a detective, both asking questions about
a murder – although from different perspectives – who become ensnared in a
romance. Their relationship raises questions about confidentiality, loyalty
to one’s employer, professional ethics; she is trying to write a story for
her readers, he is trying to keep control of an investigation. Both of their
bosses caution them about the dangers to their careers raised by this
situation. And there they are, lovers.

The tale is designed to intrigue with two intertwining stories, the mystery
of the murder and the unexpected love affair. As the relationship grows and
the mystery is solved we visit the worlds of Cambodian employees in America,
police investigations, newspapers and their editorial policies, and drug
smuggling.

There is no graphic violence or sex in the novel.

 

 

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Excerpt

 

In this excerpt June Replyn is interviewing two sisters, Cambodians, about
a cousin and co-worker who was murdered in front of them. Because their
English is quite limited, June has brought along Salath Doeung (Sal), a
college student born in  New York to Khmer-speaking parents.

 

            The four sat in silence for a moment, sipping the hot green tea, eating the
sweet, wonderful dessert, and then the conversation began again. June wrote
some clarifying comments next to the notes she had hastily written as he was
speaking. She took her time, her head down, not wanting to convey the least
impatience. Silence, and she glanced up to see him writing. Then he said
something else and the cousin’s smiles disappeared. They paused, and then in
lowered voices began to speak. June felt like screaming, she wanted
simultaneous translation. What were they saying? But she waited, waited.
Finally they paused, and he turned back to her.

            “Two
things. The first is that she had done a little dating here but no
boyfriends, and she liked it that way, she thinks it isn’t easy to be a
married woman with little kids here, not if you don’t speak English. Like I
said before, she really wanted to go home, planned on it, and pretty much
was at work or here or a local restaurant, not out late, no mysteries. As
far as your guess, the one you mentioned in the car, I think your impression
is right, correct.”

            June,
head down, nodded slightly as she wrote.

            “Second,
someone at work, guy who unloads boxes and helps the cutter, assistant
cutter I guess, had a fight with her about some boxes or materials or
something. Something at work. They don’t know what it was about because Rith
didn’t want to talk about it, most unusual, she liked to gossip. They had a
fight, and after that she avoided him.”

            “Avoided
scared or avoided mad at?”

            He
turned back and there was a brief flurry of Khmer.

            “Scared,
but she didn’t want to talk about it.”

            “Did
they tell the police about this, and if so, why not?”

            Even as
she said it she realized her mistake; anyone living here, especially in
lower-income neighborhoods, knows the word ‘police’ no matter what their
language background or skills. The sisters visibly tensed.

            He started to turn, but she stopped him.

            “Wait, I
just made a stupid error, they recognized the p-word and they’re already on
guard. I really want to know the answers, hope you can
 fix things.”

            He
winked at her, a youthful show of confidence, and turned back to the two
young women, who now sat holding their tea cups tightly in their laps, their
backs straight. He spoke for some time, they both listening intently,
occasionally glancing at June. Then he stopped, and no one spoke for almost
a minute. Then Sopheara Moeun softly began to speak, said only a few words
and her sister spoke sharply to her. Sopheara responded in a raised voice,
Sopharath responded loudly, and suddenly both were standing on their feet,
noses inches apart, screaming at each other. In the midst of this June noted
that they carefully placed the teacups back on the tray, a gentle, delicate
gesture while they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly Sopharath whirled
and looked at June with a startling combination of fear and anger, tears
starting to run, and held out both hands, palms up, pleading, and said “You
all make dead.” Her right hand changed, index finger pointing, and pointed
at herself and her sister, back and forth, pointing at each several times.
“You all make dead, you all make dead.” She ran from the room.

            June
wasn’t sure what to do next, so she did nothing. She lowered her eyes,
giving up any control, trusting that her interpreter, who had done so well
so far, would know what to do.

            He said
something softly, and Sopheara sat down again. He paused, then turned to
June. “They do know something, they may even know who did it. They are, as
you can see, scared. They didn’t say anything to the police for that reason,
but now Sopheara feels that she has to make it right, has to help the
Americans…I mean, the government, punish him.”

            June
took her time, spoke slowly and gently, nodding at Sopheara Moeun, trying to
be positive, reassuring, conveying not only through the words to be
translated but with her demeanor and tone of voice. “Please tell her this.
First, she is doing the right thing, honoring her cousin’s memory, and that
she is very brave. Second, I have.. friends… in the police department, and
I promise her that they will be very careful, move cautiously, and not do
anything that will…. No, that doesn’t work. Sorry. Say this, say that I
will explain the situation and ask the police to be very careful.”

            The
Khmer began again, both speaking in soft voices for a short time. Then Sal
leaned forward and gently patted Sopheara on the shoulder, looked her in the
eyes and said something. She smiled shyly, got up and started to leave the
room. She stopped in front of June and, while looking at her, said something
in Khmer. Salath Doeung translated “I hope you are the one who wins.” Then
she was gone.

 

About the Author

Edward M. Krauss is the author of A Story Of Bad; Solomon The Accountant (a
gentle love story set in a middle-class Jewish community in Toledo, Ohio in
1950); Here On Moon (betrayal, divorce, recovery).

 

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Solomon the Accountant – Blitz

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Historical Romantic Fiction
Date Published: January 2018
Publisher: EABooks Publishing
 
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Solomon the Accountant is the story of a young man who falls in love with Molly. He first meets her at the funeral of her husband, killed in an accident after less than a year of marriage. She is heartbroken and devastated, with a new love the last thing on her mind. Solomon’s effort gently, carefully to win Molly’s heart is the core of the novel.
The story is set in a middle-class Jewish community in Toledo, Ohio, in 1950. References to television shows, automobiles, the price of clothing, popular music, and other items have been carefully researched. The thread of Judaism, and Jewish home life, is woven throughout.
A side story involves Solomon’s best friend, Herman, and his girlfriend Deborah. She is ready to marry, he is almost but not quite, and Solomon is caught between them as they seek his advice and support.
The novel celebrates respect for family and elders, true love and long marriages, young love with an unusual situation to overcome, all with a sprinkling of Yiddish.
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Excerpt
    Services started at seven-thirty. Solomon had promised he would pick her up at seven, and he pulled up in front of her apartment building at six-fifty. Actually he had left his apartment so early that he had driven slowly the entire way, cars passing him, and still had to sit a half block away for five minutes.
    Solomon felt a strange combination of giddy excitement and absolute calm. He went to her door, knocked twice, not too hard, and soon she opened the door. This time she had on a dark blue suit with a silk blue blouse in a lighter, complimentary shade, and a thin gold necklace. Her only other jewelry were her engagement and wedding rings. They greeted, then he walked behind her to the car. He wanted to be a gentleman, to take her elbow, but didn’t want to be too bold, maybe she wouldn’t want his touch. So he walked close, opened the car door. They drove the short distance to the synagogue in silence, each with their heads so full of thoughts they couldn’t decided what thing to say first, so they said nothing, the silence growing until it became impossible to break. Molly noticed how clean the car was, as she had noticed the cleaned office and the new cushion. When they arrived he parked then got out and walked around to her side of the car. When he opened the door he offered his hand to help her and she took it, her gloved hand light in his.
    People were arriving, single people, couples, families, older people helped by their adult children.  Molly was known to many of them, Solomon to some, since his family belonged to B’nai Israel, and that’s where he usually attended, but easily half of those attending knew Molly or Solomon or his parents or her deceased husband’s parents, and those people looked and noticed and tried not to stare, although a few did, and a few of those already seated even pointed discretely behind their prayer books and made short, whispered comments. Molly noticed but had expected, anticipated the looks and whispers, so she said hello to some, introduced Solomon to others, and he took her lead, relaxed a bit and greeted friends and acquaintances. Soon the service started, and they both got into the rituals, the familiar songs, the comfort of the prayers in Hebrew and English, the worship based on beliefs from so long ago, the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. L’dor Va’dor, from generation to generation. During the sermon, their prayer books closed, Solomon’s brain screamed at him to take her hand, but he resisted the urge, the desire.
    The Oneg Shabbat was, as always, a calm, pleasant way to finish the week, first the service and then some time to chat with friends, sip tea or coffee, punch for the children, and eat from a display of twenty or more styles of cookies. Solomon favored the almond cookies, a swirled design with a drop of chewy cherry candy in the center. Molly loved the tiny squares of lemon cake, only a bite or two each, a single piece of walnut on the top of each square. As they walked into the large room that was used for wedding receptions, bar and bat mitzvah receptions and Purim festivals and lessons in Israeli folk dancing and other occasions of Jewish sharing, people worked at not noticing, not staring. Solomon asked her if she would like coffee or tea and she said tea, so he poured a cup for her and one for him. They walked towards the trays of cookies and as they chose he was approached by one of his clients. Talking a bit of shop after services was not unknown. At that moment Molly saw one of her friends, a woman who had attended her wedding, now very pregnant with her first child. Molly walked to her.
    “Hello, Susan. Looks like you’re serious about this pregnant thing.”
    “Oy, Molly, I can’t sit long, he presses on my bladder, I can stand only minutes until my swollen feet kvetch, forget about sleeping, all night long he’s doing pushups and running track like his father did. He should wait until high school to do his sprints, it would be fine with me, but no, three in the morning his little legs are churning.”
    “I hear a lot of ‘he,’ Susan. You sure?”
    “I think so, my mother thinks so, the doctor thinks so. So of course it will be a little girl.”
    “Of course.”
     “How soon?”
    “Three weeks, twenty-one days exactly, that’s the prediction. A little early is fine by me. Meanwhile Harvey has the room all ready, we don’t know a boy a girl, so we found some light blue wallpaper with pink flowers, that should work for either sex for a few years. Did I just say sex? Nine minutes for the man, nine months for the woman. Such a deal! And for the first six months Harvey was still finishing his residency, so I never saw him. Which was good for him, he was spared three months of listening to me throw up. Oh, sorry, terrible thing to say as you try to eat lemon cake.”
    Molly laughed. “That won’t stop me. Watch” she said, finishing off the small yellow square. “So how is the doctor?”
    “He’s fine, knock wood. Look at him over there with his head together with Toplosky and Miller. Three doctors. Wonder if it’s medicine or golf they’re talking about? Not that he got to golf much the last year, but next summer he’ll be out there.”
    “Best place to get sick is a hospital, next best is a shul.”
    “Yeah, and Miller’s OB – GYN. I go into early labor he can deliver the baby right here.”
    Molly laughed again.
    “So Molly, are we good enough friends for me to ask about the man you were sitting with?”
    “Is there some way I could say no to that question?” As Susan looked a bit stricken Molly hurried to assure her. “I’m teasing, Susan, yes we are certainly good enough friends, and I’m glad to tell you. His name is Solomon Wohlman, he’s an accountant, has his own shop. He came to the house when we were sitting Shiva, knew someone in Darren’s family, I think. Anyway, we didn’t… I don’t have an accountant, never needed one, but Darren, may he rest in peace, had an insurance policy and I didn’t know what the best thing was to do with it. Not that it’s a fortune, it isn’t… who buys that kind of insurance? But it was enough that I wanted some good advice, so I asked him and he gave it, really good, clear advice.”
    “So then… wait, the feet just quit on me. Please, come sit a minute.” They walked over to where padded folding chairs were lined up against one wall and sat, one chair between them so they could turn toward each other. “OK, so if this is not a good question, now you really could tell me to get lost.”
    “You want to know what giving me investment advice has to do with Friday night services.”
    “Yes, I should be so bold.”
    “He asked to take me, I said yes. There’s really nothing else to say.”
    “I’m sorry, that was a tacky thing for me to ask.”
    “No it wasn’t. Lots of other people here wondering, I see their eyes turning then turning away. Think it looks like a date to them? Looks like one to me.”
    “You know, we, some of the girls and me, we thought you’d move back home, Chicago, right?”
    “Yes, I thought about it, but I don’t want to go through packing and moving and looking for another job, and my mother would mother me to death, it just wouldn’t work. I like being a school secretary, and I’m thinking maybe I’ll go back to college, get a teaching degree. At least I’m going to go talk to them, see what it would take, how long.”
    “Good for you. You know if you ever need anything….”
    “Thank you. Everyone has been so kind. It’s really amazing.”
    “We look after our own.”
    “Yes we do, but the warmth, the love, its not just yiddishkayt … it’s also been others, Darren’s co-workers, even though he was there such a short time, and my people from school. Lots of love from everyone.”
    Susan reached over, patted her hand. “Good…good.” She paused. “Well, time to take the doctor home, I can spend a few minutes with him. You know what’s good about being married to an orthopedist? They give great massages, know all those muscles and connecting parts.”
    “Those muscles and connecting parts can lead to more children, I’ve been told.”
    “Five, no more. Oy, listen to me, four more times I’m committing to!”
    They hugged briefly then separated. As Molly walked toward Solomon he saw her coming and seemed to conclude his conversation, shaking hands with the man he was talking to and starting to walk towards her.
    “You didn’t have to stop for me, I’m in no hurry.”
    “No, thanks for rescuing me…. I’m happy he’s a success already, enough with the celebration. I’ve heard the story twice before. Are you ready to leave?”
    “Yes.”
    On the way home they talked briefly, mostly Molly talking about Susan and the impending birth, Solomon listening, driving oh so carefully. He walked her to her door, his brain screaming at him again, this time to take her in his arms and kiss her sweet mouth, but reason prevailed, and when she offered her hand for a shake and said “Thank you” he shook it and said “You’re welcome” and then she was in her apartment and he was heading back to his car, happy and a little dizzy from how much he wanted to speak to her of love.
About the Author

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Edward M. Krauss is a writer and mediator living in Columbus, Ohio. He is author of three novels: Solomon the Accountant, a gentle love story set in a middle-class Jewish community in 1950; Here on Moon, a story of deceit, divorce, and recovery; and A Story of Bad, two stories wound together, a murder mystery and a love story. He is also co-author of On Being the Boss, a book about effective crises management and the U.S. Constitution’s application in the workplace.
Before his retirement from the State of Ohio, Mr. Krauss served as a program director, mediator, and mediation trainer. He now is a private mediator, specializing in personnel issues (EEO, grievance, promotion, peer disputes, promotion, termination) and economic issues (land use, development, historical preservation, environmental concerns, investments). He has been approved as a mediator by county courts, the United States Postal Service, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and other entities.
Mr. Krauss is a graduate of the University of Toledo and the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.
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