Born in Portugal, Ruth Shidlo has also lived in Spain, Israel and the United States. She practices as a psychologist in Tel Aviv, and enjoys writing fiction and editing. Murder in the Choir is her second novel.
Are you more of a writer or a psychologist?
I like to think I am both. I am happy when I’m able to help someone deal more wholesomely with something that’s weighing upon them, and regain or achieve a new inner balance. I enjoy both professions, sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a full-time writer, one who is able to support herself solely by writing. I tried that once, and found it quite a challenge, even with some editing thrown in for good measure. I love editing, especially if the writer is intelligent and has a clear message. I recently edited "The Enigma of Childhood" by Ronnie Solan (Karnac, 2015). Although somewhat biased given my involvement, I recommend it highly.
Do you adhere to an outline when you write?
I envy those writers who are able to plan ahead, even if they then have the freedom to deviate as needed. I find it very hard, if not downright impossible, to outline a story or plot in advance—often I literally start writing without the faintest notion of where the story will take me—this is still a “pre-story time.” I allow myself to reserve judgement and simply write. I know there will always be time to whit it down, to edit, to play with it. Gradually, the story unfolds, in large measure thanks to its characters.
DI Helen Mirkin is tasked with finding opera singer Araceli Pena, who has missed two Wozzeck rehearsals. When found dead in bed, the circumstances of her death are far from clear.
DI Mirkin explores the mercurial world of the Opera Music Workshop, rife with competition and backstabbing. A meteoric composer is shot, the stakes rising as the music world is under attack. Can the Workshop survive?
In this first Helen Mirkin novel, Jerusalem-based Detective Inspector Helen Mirkin is challenged with solving the murder of psychologist Dr. Danielle Hall. Before much progress is made, a second murder occurs. Are they related? The investigation leads DI Mirkin to a state-of-the-art fertility clinic. How does this fit in? Is the killer trying to cover their tracks? Can they be stopped before more