Thursday, September 19, 2019

COPPER AND GOLDIE: 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i: Guest post by Rosemary & Larry Mild

I see you’ve just opened a copy of Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i. Now, my dear reader, sit back and fasten your seat belt. Just imagine you’re being transported across the Pacific Ocean to the most isolated place on earth, the Hawaiian islands. To some it is called paradise, to others it is a former kingdom—rich in local culture, and yet to others, it is the melting pot of the Pacific. But like the rest of the U.S., the fiftieth state has its dark side too, a fertile place that unveils mystery and suspense fodder for writers like coauthors Rosemary and Larry Mild who now call Hawaii their home.

You find yourself on the island of Oahu, walking along the sidewalks of Kuhio Beach in Waikiki. A cab pulls up to the curb—a classic yellow Checker Cab, and the driver is a smiling, handsome Hawaiian. You slide into the back seat and discover there’s another smiling face staring right back at you: a beautiful golden retriever harnessed in the shotgun seat right alongside the broad-shouldered man up front.

“What’s her name?” you ask.

“Goldie,” he replies. Goldie turns her head and gives you her best doggie grin. You can hear her tail thumping against the vinyl seat back.

“Where to?” the driver asks.

You tell him you want to see the sights of Oahu, and he tells you his Circle Island price. You agree, and he whisks you down Kalakaua Avenue to its end. Skirting the base of Diamond Head, the cab heads for the main highway, past Koko Head Crater toward Blow Hole, a natural water spout on the east end. Then it’s up the Pali highway to the Pali cliffs lookout for a panorama of the island’s windward side. On to the Valley of the Temples, through the pineapple and cane fields, to the leeward side again to Pearl Harbor and Punch Bowl—the National Cemetery of the Pacific and its mosaic panels depicting the wars in the Pacific.

At some point in the trip you become curious and ask him how he came to be a cabbie. He tells you his name is Sam Nahoe, and he used to be one of Honolulu’s Finest, a homicide detective in the Honolulu Police Department (HPD).

“Used to be?” you question.

“Yeah, I took one in the spine, so now I’m medically retired. Driving a taxi is about all I can do these days. I walk with Cane and Able, no, not the biblical spellings.” He points to two canes tied to the dashboard. “It even ended my marriage. I only get to see my little girl, Peggy, every Sunday.”

“How old is Peggy?” you ask.

“She’s thirteen now, but she was only nine when I got shot. Our separation was hard on her. She’s pretty clever—takes after her mom, Kianah—the spittin’ image of my ex-wife too.”

“I can see in the rear-view mirror that you light up when you talk about your family. Is there any chance you’ll get back together?"

“There’s always a chance, but not any time soon. We’re on good terms—now. Nothing like the nasty times I created when I first learned of my forced retirement. There was no living with me.“Did you grow up in Hawaii?

“Sure did,” he replies. “We had some rough times growing up. My sister and brother and I had to go to live with our grandparents until I was old enough to earn a living for myself.”

“What happened to your parents?”

“That’s kind of personal,” he replies.

“Sorry! Are your siblings still in the islands?

“No, they’ve both passed.”

 “Is that a PI license I see on your dashboard?”

“Had to get it after Goldie and I ran into some tough situations a while back.”

“Tough situations?” you repeat.

“You know, bank robbers, kidnappers, burglars, vengeful wives, killers, and the like. There are thirteen complete and satisfying mysteries I could tell you about, but I won’t spoil them for you just now. And Goldie here helped me solve them. I trained her to do all sorts of tricks to catch those lowlifes.”

“How do you manage to chase crooks when you have to use those canes to get around?”

“That’s where Goldie comes in handy. Mostly, I use my head to figure things out. And I still have some excellent connections at HPD headquarters.”

Arriving at your final destination, you lean over Goldie to settle with Sam and get a surprise lick on your left cheek. As you stand back and watch the cab disappear into infinity, you can still see the palm trees sway in the salty breeze. Suddenly you realize the only way you’re going to learn more is to read the book about your newfound friends. 

ROSEMARY AND LARRY MILD are cheerful partners in coauthoring mystery, suspense, and fantasy fiction. Larry conjures up plots and writes first drafts, leaving Rosemary to breathe life into their characters and sizzle into their scenes. A perfect marriage of their talents. They are active members of Sisters in Crime; Mystery Writers of America; Hawaii Fiction Writers; and the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival committee. When Honolulu hosted Left Coast Crime in 2017, Rosemary and Larry were the program co-chairs for “Honolulu Havoc.”

Their popular Hawaii novel, Cry Ohana and its sequel Honolulu Heat, vibrate with island color, local customs, and exquisite scenery. Also, the Paco and Molly Murder Mysteries: Locks and Cream Cheese, Hot Grudge Sunday, and Boston Scream Pie. And the Dan and Rivka Sherman Mysteries: Death Goes Postal, Death Takes A Mistress, and Death Steals A Holy Book. Plus Unto the Third Generation, A Novella of the Future, and three collections of wickedly entertaining mystery stories—Murder, Fantasy, and Weird Tales; The Misadventures of Slim O. Wittz, Soft-Boiled Detective; and Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i. 

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