As my readers know, amateur sleuth Melissa Morris is based on a real person – an old girlfriend of mine named Lysette. She used to do some work for the Mossad until she got tired of seducing Syrian businessmen in cheap East European hotels. She drifted for years. I urged her to give up and marry rich, but Lysette made the too-common error of ignoring my advice and now she’s living in Queens.
It’s a real shame because, like any attractive woman, Lysette could have married and divorced someone wealthy by now. Instead she has to work for a living, as a social worker no less, and she’s a vegan. It’s a tragedy, no matter how you look at it.
But enough about Lysette. Let’s talk about me. I used to be a hostess at an upscale Manhattan gastro-pub but then I got too old so I decided to write novels instead. I wrote two of them, both about Melissa Morris – she’s a thirty-something, single New Yorker whose search for herself is constantly interrupted by the discovery of dead bodies. Now, Charles says that I should discontinue the series. Charles is my financial advisor and occasional lawyer, as my readers know.
“You are under investigation for murdering your uncle, Jasmine,” Charles pointed out.
That’s not quite true. Being questioned by the police and actually being investigated for murder are two entirely separate things. I’m a crime writer, so I know these things. So while I know that Charles means well, I’m going to have to ignore his advice, much as Lysette ignored mine. Well. That doesn’t really prove my point, does it? The thing is, I’m a bit sizzled from the Dalmore – Charles always has some in his office – and really, I’m not sure why I started this conversation in the first place. It’s a problem. Writing, I mean. The truth always comes out in the end.
Melissa Morris chases her cheating boyfriend to Rome. While trying to track him down, she’s arrested for the murder of a Romanian businessman. She sets out to find the real killer, discovering an underside to Rome and herself that she never imagined.
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Jasmine Schwartz lives in Manhattan with her future ex-husband. She has been 35 years old and has never been incarcerated – don’t believe the New York Observer.
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