After a While You Wonder
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Summer 1997.  Four retired LAPD policemen unite for lunch and reminiscing with Carl Quincy “Q” Sanes, their ex-LAPD partner now living on the island of St. Thomas. Their meet-up unintentionally becomes their last roll call, their last chance contending with and confronting having been black cops conflicted-as-hell for over twenty years, vying to protect and serve through discrimination, racism and riots – inside and outside.

“They laugh now at the absurdities, the indignities, the cruelties; and yes, perhaps the humor peculiar to policing people. They laugh, not because it was necessarily funny then, not because it’s funny now. Their easy tears that drip from joy are indistinguishable from their tears of past sorrows. Pent-up rivers of rage seep then evaporate into unsettled tranquility. The teardrops that flow in the stream beds of their aging faces sting and soothe. At the corners of their mouths their tongues taste the bitterness of indelible wounds, and the sweetness of having this too survived. But there is no victory.”

And as Big Jake explained to his wife about cop promiscuity, “Baby, there’s the uniform lady, the power lady, the authority lady, the pleading lady, the scared lady, the lonely lady, the horny lady and the sluts. That’s ten but sometimes one can be two or more of the above. And don’t forget what Napoleon’s wife said about where y’all’s mind is.”

“They all rose, anxiously stretched and waited on Nate. He gulped down his scotch, expelled an exaggerated ah! Then…he spoke, ‘That was to Mister Marquette Frye and Mister Rodney King, the great twentieth century liberators of black cops and other middle class spooks – in L.A. at least.

And you meet Nate.

Tuesday After Next: The second novel in the trilogy After a While You Wonder

Summer 20001. Kevin A. Moore, a single handsome black U.S. Treasury agent from Washington, D.C. and Karen B. Doupchek, a married beautiful white DEA agent from Los Angeles are assigned to a Joint Task Force to investigate suspected drug laundering in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The agents are supervised by Sol Poesner, DOJ/Miami.

The agents are instructed to act like lovers as they check out Aubrey of St. Thomas, an exclusive boutique hotel managed by Aubrey Sanes, widow of ex-L.A. cop, Carl Quincy “Q” Sanes. Q reportedly died during church services on the island four years ago. He was cremated, his ashes strewn into the Caribbean Sea but there was never an autopsy report or a death certificate. The pediatrician who allegedly certified Q’s death in San Juan, PR has also died, leaving no records.

The widow’s upscale, forty-suite resort was started with a half million dollars that Q left her. The JTF wants to know how she parlayed that little amount into such a profit-making, debt-free operation in so little time. Thinking the boutique is too much of a good thing, Kevin and Karen search for both, the “dead” Q and the money trail. Karen goes to San Juan where she is assisted by Carmen Gomez, an INS agent from New York who was born in Puerto Rico and graduated from the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas campus.
Aloof when not in their like-lovers ruse interrogation mold, Karen wonders about her husband, a fellow Narc and reputed DEA Lothario. Kevin wonders if his beautiful partner is a set-up to nail him for moral turpitude – at least; and, they do indeed become smitten with each other until their hot pursuits are interrupted on Tuesday, 9/11.

“Karen, entonces, ?lo hiciste?” Carmen excitedly asked in a controlled whisper….

“No, pero creo que hubiera querido!” Karen loudly, but sedately, answered as if there was no need to whisper.

And you love to hate Nate.

It Don’t Matter: Amor Regge Senza Legge (Love Rules Without Rules or Laws) — The Third Novel in the Trilogy After a While You Wonder

Winter 2001. The terrorists’ attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11 stopped the JTF dead-or-alive search for drug laundering suspect Q Sanes. But it started a new dead-or-alive search — for the gorgeous DEA agent, Karen B. Doupchek, reportedly killed in the attack on the South Building of the World Trade Center.

Agent Doupchek’s handsome JTF partner, Treasury Agent Kevin A. Moore, refuses to believe that she is dead. He recounts seeing, smelling, hearing Karen – an apparition, say to him on 9/11, “Wait for me, Kevin. I’m coming back to you.”

Depressed, obsessed, possessed to find out what happened to Karen, but unable to get help from the inside with government agencies that ought to know if Karen is still alive, Kevin turns to the outside for help – to people connected with the JTF’s old target of interest: Carl Quincy “Q” Sanes. Kevin finds Q’s forever bfe in Washington, D.C. and makes a high risk quid pro quo destined to fail.

Beguiling revelations, romantic intrigue, bizarre circumstances in St. Thomas, California, District of Columbia, New York, London, Yemen, Kabul and Tel Aviv make It Don’t Matter a must read for the perfect ending to The Trilogy After a While You Wonder; Amor Regge Senza Legge (Love rules without rules [or laws]).

Carmen was there too, overjoyed with Karen’s exuberance about her marriage, her honeymoon and her love for her husband. When Karen excitedly told Carmen that she had overcome her denial problem, Carmen asked if she meant to use that verb. And they’re both still laughing.
And you hate to love Nate.

After a While You Wonder
Edelen Cover WebHardcover
Tuesday After Next
Hot Pursuit!

It Don’t Matter
Love Rules.