Streetscape: A Jake Soho Mystery
Streetscape: A Jake Soho Mystery
by Carl Waldman
Streetscape: A Jake Soho Mystery: Drug use, failed relationships, and failed art career lead a thirty-year-old from upstate New York to homelessness in NYC. To help pass the time, Jake Soho, as he is known on the street, follows people, role-playing that he is a private detective. One of his tail jobs leads to a real mystery. He now has a purpose and, to solve the riddle, winds up in an unlikely locale far from the City where he saves the day. Or does he really? 191 pages
About the Author
Carl Waldman is a freelance writer who divides his time between the streets of New York City and the hills of upstate New York. He is the author of a number of reference books on Native Americans, including Atlas of the North American Indian, Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, and Biographical Dictionary of American Indian History to 1900. He co-authored other books on history and popular culture, including Encyclopedia of Exploration, Encyclopedia of European Peoples, The Art of Magic, Elvis Immortal, and Forever Sinatra. He also has co-written several screenplays, including an episode of Miami Vice for NBC and The Legend of Two Path, a drama about the Native American side of Raleigh’s Lost Colony, shown at Festival Park on Roanoke Island in North Carolina. His hobbies include music and he has played in a number of bands and has worked with young people in music workshops. Streetscape is his first mystery.
Soft Cover $14.99
Kobo eBook $3.99
Streetscape: A Jake Soho Mystery, Carl Waldman Streetscape: A Jake Soho Mystery opens with a quote from Raymond Chandler, which sets the scene for a quasi-noir detective story centering upon Jake Soho, a thirty-year-old homeless man living on the streets after a failed career, broken relationships, and drug use. Bored with life, he indulges in his one passion - role-playing as a private detective - and finds his hobby of following people leads him straight into a real mystery. His amateur sleuthing reveals a trio of young people and a French professor, and a riddle which brings him not only to other streetscapes, but to solutions which wind up saving the day in many unexpected ways. As Jake Soho moves from hobby to passion, he discovers newfound purpose in life - and with it, the thrill of problem-solving detective work and dangerous encounters. All the elements of a satisfying noir detective story are here, from smoky back streets and beautiful women to Sherlock Holmes-type puzzles filled with satisfying twists and turns of plot. As Jake becomes more immersed in the persona and achievements of a gumshoe P.I., so also does he find his new purpose in life changes his worldview as well as the nature of the streetscapes he inhabits. At first "the goal is invisibility" and observation alone, but as his involvements deepen and the complexity of mysteries evolves, Jake finds his own goals are changing. Streetscape is steeped in the atmosphere of Jake's environment: one of its strengths is the ability to create such detail that readers feel they 'are there': "LaGuardia became West Broadway on the other side of Houston Street. In Soho, a neighborhood named for being "south of Houston," the first woman Jake chose to follow - because of a femme fatale forties hat - led him to a clothing boutique....Jake began to feel like he was again shopping with Jillian on the Upper East Side, following her to one store after another, trying to give a damn about fashion and fighting back the growing pressure to be so trapped." It's the blend of emotional feel and street atmosphere that succeeds in duplicating the smoky, seedy underworld of the noir detective story genre, and that feel enables readers to follow Jake in his journey into his new profession. One grows to relate to Jake's situation through a series of insights into not only how he became homeless, but his perceptions of his new life: "The bench where he now sat felt hard and cruel. What had he been thinking? His homelessness crashed back down on him with a vengeance. Purpose? Following people around like he was onto something important?" Jake's journey follows a spiral down to the streets and then bounces back up again with the evolution of his unexpected new job. From New York to Montreal, New Jersey to Florida, Jake moves from being disconnected from relationships and life to a series of close involvements that hold tangled webs and puzzles to solve. On the road trip of his life, Jake stumbles on a series of clues, from a slashed tire in New York City to strange confrontations, broken windows, and sudden unexplained departures and follows each clue to its logical conclusion - only to emerge with yet more puzzles and roads to nowhere. Eventually his long journey will come to an end - and just as certainly it promises changes for Jake, those he follows, and the criminal elements involved. Any reader interested in a multi-faceted noir detective story with more characterization and depth than most will find Streetscape a compelling read, filled with the satisfyingly unexpected to its final pages.
-- James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review