St. Charles Mystery Author Inspired by the Daily News
Byline: Rachel Baruch Yackley
Real-life crimes, combined with imagination and research, have been the ingredients for a St. Charles woman's mystery books.
D.C. "Debbie" Brod has been living in St. Charles for 19 years, and has been penning mysteries featuring Quint McCauley, an ex-cop turned private investigator, since then.
So far, Brod has written: "Murder in Store" (1989), "Error in Judgment" (1990), "Masquerade in Blue" (1991), and "Brothers in Blood" (1993), all published by Walker & Co., and "Paid in Full" (2000), published by Five Star Press. All five books in this mystery series follow Brod's favorite crime-solving P.I. through Chicago and the suburbs.
Brod will appear with many other area authors at the Batavia Public Library's Local Author's Fair from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Brod will also sign books at Town House Books in St. Charles from noon to 2 p.m. on July 16, after the release of her newest book, "Heartstone."
Inspiration for her stories has come largely from newspaper articles.
Take "Masquerade in Blue," which features an activist/environmentalist who goes by the pseudonym "Blue Fox," somewhat reminiscent of the Fox Valley environmentalist legend "The Fox."
"I loosely based (my character) on The Fox; however, in my book, The Fox is a woman," Brod said.
Brod's books are definitely fiction, but "Something I've read in the paper sparks my imagination," she said, "and then I do some research before I continue. I try to make it as authentic as I can."
Referring to her oft-used main character as almost a member of her family, Brod said, "the voice of Quint started when I was a kid. (Later) I was trying to decide what to do with him or her. It was easier to separate myself from the character if it was a man."
Inspiration came from John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee character.
"I really enjoy that type of protagonist - a loner; a knight figure," she said.
The decision to write mysteries evolved after finding the character she wanted to use, Brod said. "I just felt he made a good private investigator. My books tend to be more character-driven than plot-driven. I have no idea how they will end. I just put some characters together and see where they go."
Brod's newest book is "completely different" from her Quint series, said the author. "I was interested in doing a different mystery series with a brother and sister who are geologists. …