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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Stocks & Bondage, a New Deb Riley Mystery

I can't help it. I know that I'm going to spend all week next week cleaning up Security & Exchange, but I've had an idea to start plotting out for the next Deb Riley mystery. I won't fill your friends page with the synopsis yet, but you can get it behind the cut.

Stocks & Bondage

An elderly man (70s?) comes in to see Deb. His daughter (50s) has committed suicide. She left no note and he can't imagine why she would take her own life. He says she was recently in a relationship that ended on unfriendly terms and he wants to know beyond a doubt that she took her own life and that someone didn't do a good job of staging it.

Deb, obviously, wants to know why he would want to hire her. He shows her a photograph of his daughter's home which is cluttered with computers and periferals. He says that the only hope he has of finding the truth is on the computers, and that he is by default the executor of her estate as the only living relative. He has no idea where to start in locating what her assets are and how to dispose of them. He always thought she would be the executor of his estate, not this way.

As Deb digs into the computers and the estate, she discovers that the woman had a tumultuous affair with a married man who bilked her out of thousands of dollars and who controlled her. Between the woman's sketchy journal and the messages on the computer, Deb uncovers a man who is a professional at preying on middle-aged women, first courting them and bringing them under his spell, then systematically stripping their finances from them. She finds a trail of restraining orders and suicides in his wake.

The man is not pleased that Deb is digging into his affairs and sets out to launch an electronic and psychological campaign against her, first trying his normal mode of operations, then straying further and further into a dark and threatening presence. Ultimately, Deb realizes she could also become a victim if her last ploy to expose him fails.

I've known the title for some time, but frankly was uncertain of exactly what the plot would be. Certain local occurrences, however, have revealed this plot in a very personal way. I have a few details (actually the whole story-line) to work out yet, but if I'm successful in selling Security & Exchange and Municipal Blondes, Stocks & Bondage will be close on their heals.


Hi, Nathan. Just dropping in to take a look-see of your blog. Wow, what a great job you did of hitting the high points of the sessions you attended at PNWA. It really was a great conference. Enjoyed meeting you and keep in touch! I hope to see you again next year. 8^)