The Story behind ‘Death Rules the Night’ by Rosemary and Larry Mild


We draw many of our characters from real life. Most are composites of people we’ve known. When Larry and I started writing together, we hadn’t even considered writing mysteries—until we visited my psychoanalyst father, Dr. Saul K. Pollack, in Milwaukee. That visit set us on a happy new course. My father, a widower in his seventies, had a housekeeper/gourmet cook named Dorothy. She was sixty-three, with a beachball figure, waddle walk, honey curls, and good-natured, nosy-body personality. Dorothy had exquisite culinary skills and a unique way of expressing herself. “I have to take my calcium so I don’t get osteoferocious.” During our visit, my father pulled out a piece of paper from his desk drawer and handed it to us: his secret list of Dorothy’s 177 sayings. He thought we could submit it to Reader’s Digest. Back home in Severna Park, we decided Dorothy was too good a character to ignore. Forget Reader’s Digest. She belonged to us. We named her Molly, and her witty sayings Mollyprops. But we also needed a policeman, so Larry invented a semi-retired detective and named him Inspector Paco LeSoto. Larry actually met the real-life Paco when he was a field engineer for RCA. So Locks and Cream Cheese, our first mystery, was born. The lovable psychoanalyst Dr. Avi Kepple is patterned after my father.

Death Rules the Night is our fourth Dan & Rivka Sherman Mystery. Dan and Rivka think they’re buying into a pleasant, predictable life. Instead, they become unwilling, frightened sleuths in the wake of a mugging, robbery, kidnapping—and murder. I chose to set the crime inside the bookstore. A tell-all hair-raising book about the prominent Atkins family has disappeared. The real focus of the book is the Atkins family’s eighteenth-century house in Annapolis. The ancestors of three unhappy sisters and a reprobate brother date back to the American Revolution. I delved into research—as long as it didn’t overshadow the plot—touching on the Revolutionary War, the Underground Railroad, and Prohibition. How long did the writing process take? About a year. We always send our final draft to our eagle-eyed proofreader friend. That takes her a month or so. 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

ROSEMARY AND LARRY MILD, cheerful partners in crime, coauthor mystery, suspense, and fantasy fiction.  Rosemary and Larry have published award-winning novels, short stories, and essays. They co-authored the popular Paco and Molly Mystery Series; Hawaii adventure/thrillers Cry Ohana and Honolulu Heat; and three volumes of short stories, many of which appear in anthologies. After forty-plus years in Maryland, the Milds currently make their home in Honolulu, where they cherish time with their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. 

THE MILDS are active members of Sisters in Crime where Larry is a Mister in Crime; Mystery Writers of America; and Hawaii Fiction Writers. In 2013 they waved goodbye to Severna Park, Maryland and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they cherish quality time with their daughters and grandchildren. When Honolulu hosted Left Coast Crime in 2017, Rosemary and Larry were the program co-chairs for “Honolulu Havoc.”

Over a dozen worldwide trips to Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Great Britain, France, Italy, Israel, Egypt, and more have wormed their way into their amazing stories. In their limited spare time, they are active members of the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival committee, where Larry is the statistician and recordkeeper for their film ratings. Visit their website to find out more.

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