Author (Frankie Y. Bailey) poses questions to character (Hannah McCabe)
Frankie: We’ve never really sat down together to chat. But I’m doing this interview, and I think it would be more interesting to hear from you then me. Are you game?
Hannah: Let’s see how it goes. I reserve the right not to answer any question that I find too intrusive.
Frankie: Yes, I’ve already realized you value your privacy. Let’s start with something simple. What’s your favorite restaurant in Albany?
Hannah: Since my best friend and her husband own a restaurant, I’d have to say Chelsea’s Place. Terrific vegetarian/vegan menu. Live music on weekends. A kind of café/jazzy vibe.
Frankie: Is it true you sing in the shower?
Hannah: Did I mention intrusive questions?
Frankie: Would you consider becoming a vegetarian?
Hannah: I’m an omnivore. But Chelsea’s right that we should all be eating less meat. Bioengineered animals --
Frankie: And plants. Because it’s 2019, and there have been some changes in the food supply. What’s your favorite food?
Hannah: Banana walnut ice cream. Every now and then I persuade Pop – my father – to get out his old-fashioned ice cream maker.
Frankie: You live with your father. You’re in your 30s. Don’t you find that a little . . . uh, restricting?
Hannah: If I did, I wouldn’t do it. I like my father. We respect each other’s space.
Frankie: You have an older brother. How would you describe him?
Hannah: Brilliant. Determined. A scientist. He wants to walk again on his own legs . . . and I hope that he will.
Frankie: Do you want to talk about what happened?
Frankie: Okay. But he did recently move back to Albany.
Hannah: I’m sure you thought that would be interesting. Family drama.
Frankie: I thought you could handle it. I have great respect for your ability to cope.
Hannah: (Laughter) Having watch you work your way through two large bags of microwave popcorn while you’re trying to write about how I cope, I agree that my skills are way better than yours. You really ought to find some other way to deal with stress.
Frankie: Popcorn’s healthy. Well, it is when I do air-popped. And, anyway, I’m not as athletic as you are. That’s why I’m a criminal justice professor and a writer, and you’re a cop.
Hannah: We won’t talk about that fantasy you once had about being a homicide detective.
Frankie: No, we won’t. I would have been rotten as a rookie cop. How did you feel about that? Being a woman on patrol?
Hannah: I was a cop on patrol. I made that clear to any of my male colleagues who thought otherwise.
Frankie: Are you a feminist?
Hannah: I don’t like labels.
Frankie: How about biracial? Your mother was African American. Your father is Irish American.
Hannah: And I’m pale brown. And lots of people describe me as black or African American. It’s one of those issues that we haven’t conveniently resolved in 2019 in this parallel universe – or alternate reality -- that you’ve created. Speaking of which, I could have done without Howard Miller.
Frankie: Me, too. But I think – since you have a presidential election year coming up – having a third party candidate who –
Hannah: Is a hate monger? Yes, just another little complication.
Frankie: Well, he’s not in Albany, is he? So you can ignore the news about him.
Hannah: Yeah, right.
Frankie: Getting back to the easy stuff. Your favorite quote?
Hannah: “What doesn’t kill me, makes me strong.”
Frankie: That’s a little grim.
Hannah: How about “After the first death, there is no other.” Dylan Thomas. He was one of my mother’s favorite poets.
Frankie: And, of course, your mother herself was a well-known poet.
Hannah: And she enjoyed being a well-known poet.
Frankie: And the two of you have a difficult relationship.
Hannah: Not that difficult. But my brother Adam was her favorite.
Frankie: What about you and your father? Your father, the former newspaper man and editor?
Hannah: We understand each other. Pop’s great . . . and to be fair to her, my mother was really extraordinary. It was just that we were never quite on the same wave length.
Frankie: And, of course, after what happened with --
Hannah: Don’t go there.
Frankie: Okay . . . so your turn. What would you like to ask me?
Hannah: I gather you have a thing for children’s literature. The Red Queen Dies? Alice in Wonderland.
Frankie: Well, you’re an Alice fan, too. I’ve heard you mumbling to yourself about “shoes and ships and sealing wax”.
Hannah: I appreciate alliteration. I’m my mother’s daughter. And since you’ve seen fit to give us a murder case with an actress who played Alice when she was a kid and The Red Queen on Broadway –
Frankie: I needed someone who could appreciate the Henrietta Irving story.
Hannah: John Wilkes Booth’s lover. Booth and Irving and Abraham Lincoln all passing through Albany.
Frankie: And Booth and Lincoln in Albany on the same evening. Albany history is really fascinating, isn’t it?
Hannah: To the extent that your Albany is my Albany and they share the same history. You know it’s really more than a little amusing that you should end up doing a near future police procedural series. Your other series is about a crime historian, and she’s still back in 2004.
Frankie: Did you notice that she attended grad school in Albany?
Hannah: I did notice that. But she’s in your world, not mine.
Frankie: I think you’d like each other. You might be really good friends.
Hannah: That’s possible. But have you forgotten that she’s about to turn forty? She’ll be in her 50s in 2019, and old enough to be my mother. Speaking of which, you –
Frankie: Did I mention that in the next book –
Hannah: (Laughter) Maybe you ought to try going out and having some fun this weekend. You’re getting grouchy.
Frankie: Deadline on the next book coming up in a few months.
Hannah: You’ll think better if you de-stress. Try a long walk in the park. Go have an ice cream cone. I’ll still be here when you get back.
Frankie: Yes, you will, won’t you? Talk to you later.
Hannah: Hey, before you go – about Mike Baxter, my new partner –
Frankie: We’ll talk.
Hannah: Wait a minute! Just tell me --
Frankie: You’ll know soon enough. Bye, now.
The Red Queen Dies
by Frankie Bailey
on Tour August 1 - September 30, 2013
Book Details:Genre: Mystery & Detective
Published by: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: Sept 10, 2013
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-0-312-64175-7 / 978-1-250-03717-6
Synopsis:The first in a new high-concept police procedural series, set in Albany with an Alice in Wonderland theme.
Frankie Bailey introduces readers to a fabulous new protagonist and an Alice in Wonderland-infused crime in this stunning mystery. The year is 2019, and a drug used to treat soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder, nicknamed "Lullaby," has hit the streets. Swallowing a little pill erases traumatic memories, but what happens to a criminal trial when the star witness takes a pill and can't remember the crime? Biracial detective Hannah McCabe faces similar perplexing problems as she attempts to solve the murders of three women, one of whom, a Broadway actress known as "The Red Queen," has a special interest in the story of Alice in Wonderland. Is the killer somehow reenacting the children's tale? This smart, tough mystery will appeal to fans of high-concept police procedurals.