Paradise Ladies & Others

Thirteen Quiet Tales of Witches, NightMares,
DayStuds & Thieves More

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About R. E. Conary

I write many types of stories but mainly gritty, hard-boiled novels about private detective Rachel Cord. She's a what-you-see-is-what-you-get woman who's not afraid to take chances or make mistakes and is willing to let the reader into her darkest moments as well as her accomplishments. It's her openness, more than anything, that makes her different from other hard-boiled characters. She holds nothing back.

I've always liked PI stories. There's a crime to solve that invites reader participation. The main characters are mostly mavericks who won't be pigeonholed. The stories are usually first-person POV. What you see is what you get. It's the type I enjoy most as a reader. And Rachel plays fair with her readers--they know everything she does--letting them solve the mystery as quickly--often more quickly--as she does.

I wanted a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac to stride through Raymond Chandler's mean streets taking on any odds, yet humanly flawed and tender within. I got a lesbian James Rockford. Rachel's much like those tough independent women I enjoyed on afternoon TV: Hepburn, Dietrich, Roz Russell, Jean Arthur, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford. And also my mother who worked in a man's profession, yet kept her feminine side, and liked her humor served dry with a wry twist.

My influences include J. A. Jance, Lawrence Block, John D. MacDonald, Stephen J. Cannell, Edmond Rostand, Raymond Chandler, Fritz Leiber, Keith Laumer, Aristophanes, Walt Whitman, Chekov, Kafka, Hemingway, Steinbeck...my list is endless because every author, whether I've read his or her works or not, whether I liked his or her works or not; every writer, every scribe, who ever typed, penned, incised a word, a line, are as much a part of me, my DNA, as the Conarys, Dames, Longs, Fullers, Cousins, Chiltons on back to that first amoeba that tweaked to life in the long forgotten primordial ooze.

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