I started to write about arson many years ago, after reading an article in The Daily News which described two teenagers who set multiples fires on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. That very day, those same two boys rescued the residents of the buildings where they had set the fires. Weeks later, mere seconds before an awards ceremony in which the mayor was going to honor them for their “heroism,” Fire Marshals arrested the teens. For arson!

The inherit drama, duplicity, sham heroics, and misplaced gratitude surrounding that incident aroused my interest in fire. So with permission from the FDNY, I went out on nightly forays with Supervising Fire Marshal Charlie King and his surveillance squad, in search of arsonists. My research with Charlie, combined with the inspiration I got from those Daily News articles, eventually resulted into my novel The Boys of Sabbath Street.

Fast forward to Charlie and I falling in love, getting married, his retiring from the fire department, and us starting our own arson investigation firm: Charles G. King Associates.

Over the course of the next twenty-three years (Charlie was Sherlock; I was Watson), I learned enough to write arson crime novels. They became something of my specialty. Charlie died, and I kept the company going for another 10 years, but my heart just wasn’t into setting fictional fires, so I began to write about other things.

For my two newspaper columns, The Evening Sun and Huntington News, I serialized The Happy Store—a collection of stories about the joys of retail—and a whimsical novel, Parking Space: A Love Story…along with other yarns that struck my fancy.

My last book, Dabbling in Crime, is a collection of short stories first published in The Forensic Examiner and The Evening Sun, all of which dabbled, as the title so aptly conveys, in crime.

My urban fable, My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree, is an illustrated fantasy which allowed me to strap wings on my imagination and fly.

Now, after years of self-imposed exile, I am back to writing about fire; I just finished two new books, and will keep you posted as they progress toward publication.

In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy your perusal of these pages.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to my world.

Shelly Reuben