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     Murder most foul!   I’ve always loved that opening to the show Murder, She Wrote. It’s both descriptive and to the point—someone (or maybe more than one) is murdered, the puzzle is set, and the chase is on.      
     There’s nothing better than a good murder mystery. I’ve been getting lost in them ever since I started browsing through bookshelves in the library, or the local bookstore, to pick out my own stories to read. Back then it was Trixie Belden, the Hardy Boys, and of course my favorite, Nancy Drew.   
     It was after I grew into Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and Perry Mason, that true murder was added to the puzzle, along with a sizable helping of adventure, a good dose of suspense, and even a bit of romance. Once you pick up that mystery novel, and open it to the first chapter, in the words of Sherlock Holmes, “the game is afoot.” But between those pages, the stakes are high, as we, the readers, can become both the hunter and the hunted.  And what I like, is that when I'm the author as well, I get to choose.
     Being a writer has always been my dream—one that started back in high school. I always did like to write, but in my junior year, I took a test that used to be called “a career interest” exam. It was designed to match my answers against those of thousands of professionals in fifty or so different fields, to discover which profession I shared the most common interests with.  On my results, the vast majority (all but 3 as I recall), fell below 50%, but one score was way off to the right, in the 94th percentile, and that was “writer/author”. 
     Still, my journey to writing books was a long one. I did do the practical thing and take a sensible job for many years because I had to support myself and my daughter. While it wasn’t as enjoyable as it has been writing novels, it did teach me valuable lessons in patience and perseverance, two qualities that are absolute “must haves” if you want to write books. 
     Today I am blessed to be able to write full-time, which I do from my home office in the San Francisco Bay area (across the bay, in the suburbs, where you raise kids).  From here I can easily go to the mountains for the perfect “relax and rejuvenate” getaway, or sit on a beautiful beach, where I can plot murder while enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. And every day I give thanks for you, who go with me on a hunt for a killer every time you open one of my books.  For that, I am truly grateful. 

C.R. Chandler