Please welcome Mark Love to my blog.
Charity Gray was an intelligent, inquisitive teen who disappeared fifteen years earlier. When her body is discovered, it should be a typical cold case. Before the Detroit police can get started, the FBI commandeers the investigation, with a prime suspect in mind: retired mobster Leo Agonasti.
When Agonasti slips through their grasp, he reaches out to Sergeant Jefferson Chene. Their unusual friendship draws Chene into the thick of the case. Burdened with two reluctant FBI agents, Chene is working against the clock and the feds to find the real killer.
Chene senses they are getting close to the answers. Will he be able to solve the murder and clear the old mobster of this heinous crime before time runs out?
I began reading the Chene Mystery Series in what feels like just a moment ago, yet the characters have already become old friends. I love them. They are real, credible, and seamlessly described in each book, linking the characters each time so that you know what happened before and understand where you are in an instant. It’s by no means a masterclass.
I guess you realise that I am a fan. So Mark, perhaps you could give my readers a little insight into Jefferson Chene, the central character to your stories.
It’s my pleasure today to interview Jefferson Chene. He is a Detective Sergeant with the Michigan State Police and is one of the investigators for Squad Six. Welcome, Sergeant.
“I’m not big on formalities. Just call me Chene. That’s pronounced Shane, like the cowboy in that old western movie.”
Chene it is. Tell us a bit about Squad Six.
“We investigate what’s referred to as major cases, quite often homicides, that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Metropolitan Detroit has a population of over 3 million and it covers almost 6,000 square miles. That’s a lot of territory and people to cover.”
I have had the pleasure of reading about a couple of your previous cases. Your team caught the serial killer in “Why 319?” and identified and apprehended the murderer in “Your Turn to Die”. Are you always in charge?
(Chuckles) “Captain Pappy Cantrell is officially in charge of the squad. He’s grown comfortable with me taking the lead, although we often collaborate on strategy. Pappy also deals with the press and the politicians.”
These cases are primarily told from your perspective. Isn’t that unusual?
“Never really thought about it. Maybe it’s a type of closure for me, writing down all the aspects of the case.”
That makes sense. Your name is unusual. What’s the story behind it?
“I was abandoned shortly after birth. Someone left me in a box at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Chene Street, which is near downtown Detroit. Two Dominican nuns were out for a stroll and found me. When the police came and filed the report, they accidentally listed Jefferson and Chene as my name, instead of Baby Doe or John Doe. The name stuck.”
Tell us a little about this latest investigation.
“It’s a cold case, where a body is discovered fifteen years after they went missing. Before the local police can get started, the Federal Bureau of Investigation comes charging in and takes it over. They claim to know who the killer is. Turns out they’re trying to pin it on a retired mobster, who was never connected to anything violent.”
So how did you get involved?
“The guy in question is an old acquaintance of mine. When the feds come after him, he disappears. But not before asking for my help.”
Something tells me the federal agents were not thrilled with your participation.
(Laughs) “That’s an understatement.”
Thank you for your time, Chene. I look forward to reading this and whatever adventures you have in the future.
“It was my pleasure.”
LG: That is terrific insight thank you!
If you love a good detective novel, and series that can be read stand-alone, then here are the buy links:
The Wayward Path