Reuben, Shelly 1945-

views updated

Reuben, Shelly 1945-

PERSONAL:

Born August 5, 1945, in Chicago, IL; daughter of Samuel (an inventor and real estate developer) and Ghita (a homemaker and husband's business partner) Reuben; married Charles G. King (a fire and arson consultant), May 31, 1980.

ADDRESSES:

Office—401 Broadway, Ste. 703, New York, NY 10013. Agent—Christine Tomasino, RLR Associates, 7 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Charles G. King Associates, New York, NY, partner, fire and arson investigator and licensed private investigator, 1980—.

MEMBER:

International Association of Arson Investigators, Mystery Writers of America.

WRITINGS:

Julian Solo, Dodd (New York, NY), 1988.

Origin and Cause, Scribner's (New York, NY), 1994.

Spent Matches, Scribner's (New York, NY), 1996.

Come Home. Love, Dad, Bernard Street Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Weeping: A Fritillary Quilter Mystery, Kate's Mystery Books (Lanham, MD), 2004.

Tabula Rasa, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2005.

The Skirt Man, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.

Contributor to magazines, including Fire Engineering, Law Enforcement Communications, National Underwriter, and Police Times.

ADAPTATIONS:

Weeping: A Fritillary Quilter Mystery was adapted for audiobook.

SIDELIGHTS:

Shelly Reuben told CA that her novel Julian Solo "explores the issues of life being created out of dead matter, introducing the hero, Julian Solo, as a brilliant scientist in love with a woman diagnosed as having an incurable illness. Solo has devised a serum with which he can enter and leave the death state at will, and his goal is to save the woman he loves. He will have to kill her to save her. His adversary is a woman obsessively in love with him, a woman who tampers with his experiments and his life.

"It is my goal to bring back the emphasis on values, heroism, and moral conflict which so characterized the great novels of the nineteenth century. I would, however, like to see the scope and scale of such grandeur updated to reflect and include the issues, settings, and circumstances of our time."

In Weeping: A Fritillary Quilter Mystery, Reuben features a young arson expert named Fritillary Quilter, known as "Tilly." Tilly is eventually paired with her mentor, Ike Blessing, a renowned detective, and the two are charged with investigating a case Blessing believes smells of foul play. A reviewer for Kirkus Reviews concluded that "Reuben … writes unevenly, and there's scant mystery, but the tale catches fire whenever Ike and Tilly launch into one of their animated discussions of forensic evidence." A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented: "Tilly has an engaging voice that will appeal particularly to younger readers who care more about character than crime."

Reed's sixth mystery novel, The Skirt Man, is set in a small town where a bizarre fire and resulting death are under investigation. Critics noted that Reed builds a realistic rural mystery with full, well-rounded, and eccentric characters. The thriller's protagonists are the Bly family, introduced in the 2005 Tabula Rasa. Merry Bly, a ballerina; her mother, Annie Bly, a journalist; her father, Sebastian Bly, a state trooper; her uncle, Fire Marshal Billy Nightingale; and her admirers, the twin brothers Moe and Sonny Dillenbeck, all work together to solve the murder. Although a Publishers Weekly reviewer criticized the novelist for not writing what she knows about—"capable, professional women," Library Journal contributor Jo Ann Vicarel called the novel "several levels above the ordinary." A Kirkus Reviews critic was also impressed, describing the book as "a lively whodunit."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist May 1, 2006, Frank Sennett, review of The Skirt Man, p. 39.

Forensic Examiner fall, 2006, review of The Skirt Man, p. 68.

Huntington News June 5, 2006, review of The Skirt Man.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2004, review of Weeping: A Fritillary Quilter Mystery, p. 17; April 15, 2006, review of The Skirt Man, p. 384.

Library Journal, April 1, 2005, Barbara Hoffert, review of Tabula Rasa, p. 72; June 1, 2006, Jo Ann Vicarel, review of The Skirt Man, p. 92.

Publishers Weekly, February 9, 2004, review of Weeping, p. 61; April 17, 2006 review of The Skirt Man, p. 168.

ONLINE

Shelly Reuben Home Page,http://www.shellyreuben.com (January 30, 2007).