Schroeder, Lucinda Delaney 1952(?)-

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Schroeder, Lucinda Delaney 1952(?)-

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1952, in the Philippines; married (husband is a retired wildlife biologist); children: one daughter. Education: Attended St. Mary's College of Maryland; University of Maryland, B.A., 1974. Hobbies and other interests: Writing, scuba diving, hunting, hiking, and camping.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Albuquerque, NM. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, special agent, 1974-2004.

MEMBER:

Federal Wildlife Officers Association, Outdoor Writers Association of America, Sisters in Crime, Southwest Writers, New Mexico Book Association.

WRITINGS:

A Hunt for Justice: The True Story of a Woman Undercover Wildlife Agent, Lyons Press (Guilford, CT), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Born in the Philippines to a globe-trotting military family, Lucinda Delaney Schroeder traveled frequently in her youth, spending time in such varied locations as Spain, Nebraska, Virginia, Maryland, Utah, South Dakota, and New Mexico. Fascinated with solving crimes and "catching bad guys," according to her Web site, Schroeder used her degree in criminology from the University of Maryland in 1974 to propel her into federal law enforcement. After retiring in 2004, she mined her career for material for her first novel, A Hunt for Justice: The True Story of a Woman Undercover Wildlife Agent, published in 2006.

It was not common in 1974 for a woman to enter federal law enforcement, as women were not allowed to carry firearms while in service until 1971. Following her father's advice, however, Schroeder applied and was ultimately accepted into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as only the third female agent to join the branch. She enjoyed working undercover and discovered that she excelled at it. Over the course of her career, Schroeder worked in conjunction with various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, and received accolades from several of them for her efforts. The Fish and Wildlife Service once named Schroeder one of their top ten employees. As a recognized agent, Schroeder participated in several investigations and undercover operations during her years of service. She focuses on one case in particular for her first writing attempt.

A Hunt for Justice recounts Schroeder's experience as an undercover agent in 1992, when she posed as a hunter of big game in an effort to break up a ring of international poachers working out of Alaska. The poachers never suspected the federal government would use a woman to investigate illegal big-game hunters, which made her gender invaluable to the operation. Pretending to be the girlfriend of a known poacher and paid informant, Schroeder managed to convince the poachers she was not a threat to their close-knit circle of thieves, despite the rude and drunken behavior of her unreliable accomplice. The hoax proved successful even in the presence of wild animals, a misogynistic environment, a vulgar "boyfriend," and the constant threat of discovery. Schroeder's account gives readers an inside look at the operation of a federal sting and the time and expense that goes into planning and executing one.

Nancy Bent, reviewing for Booklist, found Schroeder's effort to be "an exciting true-crime tale." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that "Schroeder illuminates an unusual, insular world with unflinching grit and good humor," and dubbed the book "consistently engrossing." A contributor to California Bookwatch opined that Schroeder's first literary work is "a remarkable account—and impossible to put down."

Schroeder told CA: "I first became interested in writing after I had a true experience working undercover in a big-game hunting camp in Alaska. The poaching I observed was outrageous and I wanted the story to be told.

"I'm influenced by the fact that few people know much about wildlife crime. To ensure conservation of wildlife, people have to be educated about those who take our precious resources."

When asked to describe her writing process, Schroeder responded: "I write in the morning, in airports, on planes, or wherever.

"The most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is that there are more writers out there than I ever knew before … and that agents, and publishers, can be brutal.

"My favorite books are mystery and true crime. My degree is in criminology."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Schroeder, Lucinda Delaney, A Hunt for Justice: The True Story of a Woman Undercover Wildlife Agent, Lyons Press (Guilford, CT), 2006.

PERIODICALS

Alaska, August, 2007, "On Poaching Patrol," review of A Hunt for Justice, p. 90.

Booklist, February 15, 2006, Nancy Bent, review of A Hunt for Justice, p. 26.

California Bookwatch, July, 2006, review of A Hunt for Justice.

Publishers Weekly, January 9, 2006, review of A Hunt for Justice, p. 42.

ONLINE

A Hunt for Justice Home Page,http://www.ahuntforjustice.com (January 28, 2008).

Lucinda Delaney Schroeder Home Page,http://lucindaschroeder.com (January 28, 2008).