R. E. Conary

Biography

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.

Smashwords Interview

Why do you write Mysteries?
There's a problem or puzzle (i.e. crime) to solve that invites reader participation. That's the major draw. I also like the private detective format. 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. And Rachel Cord plays fair. The readers see the same clues she does letting them solve the mystery as quickly -- often more quickly -- as she does.
How did you develop your main character?
Private investigator Rachel Cord was created by a desire for a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac willing to stride through Raymond Chandler's mean streets -- with attitude and panache -- taking on any odds, yet humanly flawed and tender within. Sort of a James Rockford in drag.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find R. E. Conary online


Where to buy in print


Books

Queen Of Tarts
Series: Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 85,160. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Is it possible to go home again? Rachel Cord must decide if she can face old demons, old prejudices, or lose Wendy Devlin, the love of her life, to an ultimatum: "I’ll marry you anywhere, but I’m meeting your family first. That’s my deal. Remember, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” It's that killing part that worries me, Rachel thought. “She’s been shot. Someone shot her.”
Bad Bitch Blues
Series: Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 47,390. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Life’s never easy. It’s rarely fair. In fact, Life’s a crapshoot. We don’t know the result until we roll the dice. But what happens when the dice roll says someone wants you dead?
Hangman's Oak
Price: Free! Words: 5,800. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
On Oct. 1, 1947, Paul Jasper Monroe was lynched at Hangman’s Oak. He was a decorated WWII veteran. He was Black. He was also Gay. Despite rumors, no one was ever arrested. Sixty-eight years later on the anniversary of Monroe’s murder, George Armstrong Cutter, often suspected as one of the killers, was found hanging from Hangman’s Oak. Revenge or Justice?
Still a Bitch
Series: Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,950. Language: English. Published: August 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
"Life isn't all hearts and flowers. It's pain and suffering too. It's dirty little secrets buried deep in the muck and mire where the grubs and worms feed. Secrets I unbury." Private detective Rachel Cord chases multiple threads through a labyrinth of missing persons, buried bodies, sex, new love, and an ex-lover who may be a serial killer. Book Two (Second Edition)
Life's A Bitch. So Am I.
Series: Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 58,790. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Hard-boiled, private detective Rachel Cord pursues multiple threads seeking a runaway teen and why gay performers are being beaten at Miss Kitty's Kathouse Kabaret. Threads that twist and bind Rachel within a tight cord of lost love, child pornography, rape, murder and near insanity. Leaving her to question her personal credo that "Life's a Bitch. So am I." Book one (Second Edition)
Paradise Ladies & Others
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 23,350. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction
Thirteen Quiet Tales of Witches, NightMares, DayStuds & Thieves

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