With Child (1996)

wchild_smWith Child

Nominated for the Edgar and Orange awards

Afterward, she thought it amazing that she hadn’t been frozen with terror, in the sights of two small cannons manned by lunatics, but at the time all she felt was incredulity….

“We had a report, ma’am…” began the shorter one, the driver, with no trace now of a drawl.

“Some old lady in one of those houses over there no doubt, who saw me poking around and took me for a mad bomber. And now she’s watching you making asses of yourselves.”

“Yes. ma’am. But do you mind telling us what you were doing?”

“This is a public park.”

“Now, look you—”

“Shut up, Randy,” hissed the driver.

“But Nelson—”

“Nelson?” snorted Kate. No wonder he had a chip on his shoulder. She stood and waited for further grumbles of authority, but there was more apprehension than aggression in their faces.

“No, I’m not going to file a complaint. But you two better think three times before you pull that kind of damn fool stunt again. I don’t expect to have to ID myself every time I go for my keys, and it’s too damn hot to wear a uniform.”

Kate waited an instant before this penny dropped, and she was suddenly aware that she felt better than she had in a long time. Happy, even. She stepped forward and held out her hand to Nelson.

“Inspector Kate Martinelli, SFPD. Homicide.”

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What they say

Inspector Kate Martinelli agrees to help [medievalist Jani Cameron’s] preteen daughter Jules track down Dio, a homeless boy she met in a San Francisco park over the summer. [When Jules disappears,] Kate searches frantically for some clue about her fate that will allow her closure and mourning; and for that clue she can only turn, logically enough, to Dio—in a beautifully nuanced transformation of the traditional roles of detective, assistant, and victim. (Kirkus, starred review)


Click here to read Laurie’s blog post on writing With Child.

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For a bibliography and Laurie’s suggestions to teacher and book groups, click here.

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