"History on the Bedroom Wall"

written with Rebecca K. Jones

"Rebecca Jones, 23, is a second-year law student.... Born in Germany and raised in Ohio, she went to high school at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut and double-majored in history and psychology at Middlebury College. She comes by her love of crime fiction honestly: Her father, Josh Pachter, has contributed stories and translations to EQMM since his own Department of First Stories appearance in 1968. He collaborated with Rebecca on this, her first, story."

As mentioned in various other places on this website, I've written quite a few crime stories in collaboration with other mystery writers (see Partners in Crime) but none of them have given me a zillionth of the pleasure I got (and get) from this one, which I wrote together with my daughter Becca.

The story is set mostly in Stewart Hall, a co-ed dormitory on the Middlebury College campus in Middlebury, Vermont. Becca actually atttended and graduated from Midd, and she lived in Stewart during her freshman year and again, as a junior counselor, during her junior year.

Many of the character names are the names of people Becca knew at Midd, and there are also a number of in jokes I inserted into the story. Professor Griffen, for example, is E.Q. Griffen, the protagonist of my first two contributions to EQMM, all grown up and become a college teacher. The "man who looked enough like him to be his younger brother," mentioned on the last page of the story, is in fact E.Q.'s younger brother Nero, protagonist of my third EQMM story. Detective Branigan, who retired to Vermont after 30 years on the NYPD but ultimately "clipped on a new shield and went ... to work" for the Burlington PD, was the protagonist of my fourth EQMM story, "Invitation to a Murder." And narrator Max's friend Perveen, who is referred to several times, is the daughter of Mahboob Chaudri, who featured in a series of stories I published in EQMM, AHMM and elsewhere during the '80s.

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