Interview with Jane Larsen from Weave a Murderous Web by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks

Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome back Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks, who is sharing an interview with us today with Jane Larson. Take it away, Ken and Anne!

Anne and I are very happy to have Jane Larson with us today for an interview. Jane is the star of our three books, Weave A Murderous Web, Mind Me, Milady, and Praise Her, Praise Diana. In her spare time, she likes to run, especially around the New York City reservoir.

Anne: Welcome, Jane.

Jane: Thank you for having me.

Anne: Tell us a little about yourself?

Jane: Objection, overbroad!

Ken: Huh?

Jane: The question is overbroad, so I objected. I’m a lawyer, remember?

Ken: Okay, okay. You were born and raised in New York City, correct?

Jane: Objection, leading!

Anne: Omigod.

Ken: (To Anne) What’s wrong with her?

Jane: Hey! I heard that. I’m sitting right here, you know.

Anne: Why are you giving us such a hard time? We’re trying to give you some good publicity.

Jane: Sorry. I’m a lawyer. All lawyers hate to testify. It makes them nervous.

Ken: You’re not under oath or anything.

Jane: What the heck is that supposed to mean? Are you calling me a liar? I always tell the truth. It’s probably my biggest personality defect.

Ken: It’s got a lot of competition.

Anne: (whispering) Hush!

Jane: What’s the matter, Ken. You don’t like strong women? You’re lucky my mother isn’t here. Now there was a strong woman. She wouldn’t even let me call her mom. I had to use her first name: Martha. The other kids thought she was great. Their parents thought she was nuts.

Anne: Tell us more about her.

Jane: Martha lived on 92nd Street when I was born. She had a law office on the ground floor of a tenement building. We lived in an apartment on the second floor. She had an incredibly busy law practice. Unfortunately, she liked working for people who weren’t able to pay so we never had a lot of money for the little extras. Actually, we didn’t have money for any extras.

Ken: So I guess you went to public school.

Jane: Actually, I started in Catholic school. Martha said our local elementary school was a joke, which was true, but I think she wanted me to get some ethical training among other things.

Ken: Good idea.

Jane: What is that supposed to mean?

Anne: Please continue. I didn’t realize you went to Catholic school.

Jane: Just through grade five. I hated it so much that I worked really hard to learn as much as I could to pass the exam to get into Hunter High School. I did well at Hunter and got a scholarship to Columbia University.

Anne: Wow. Congratulations.

Jane: Thanks. I think it was all part of Martha’s plan. She could be very sneaky sometimes. For example, she never told me that working for a large firm and making lots of money was bad for the soul. But I knew the kind of life she had lived, and when I had the law job for the big bucks, I found it hard to sleep at night. So here I am, in her office in the old neighborhood, still representing the people who need it the most and have the least money.

Anne: Martha would be proud of you.

Jane: Maybe. You never can tell with her. (Looks at her watch). Anything else? I’ve got a conference in Supreme Court on a new matter.

Ken: How’s the social life?

Jane: Why do you think there’s something wrong with my social life? My social life is fine.

Ken: Why are you so weird? I never said that.

Jane: But you thought it. You thought that because I’m not married and in my late thirties that I worry all the time about my social life. About having a kid while I still can? Right? For crying out loud, you think my whole life should be defined by a man? (Turning to Anne). Why do all men think that the whole world revolves around them?

Anne: (smiling). It’s a puzzle isn’t it? Thanks for coming in today, Jane. We appreciate it.

Weave A Murderous Web is a mystery novel by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks. It is one of three books in the Jane Larson series, published by Melange Books.

No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support.

Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dad’s hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous.

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.

Enjoy an Excerpt from the first book in the series Weave a Murderous Web

I was in my office at Adams & Ridge talking on the telephone when Francine entered. At the moment, my friend, Lee, was on the other end of the wire, yakking up a storm in my ear. Her rant covered already familiar terrain. My man, my David, was drifting dangerously away from me while I did nothing to win him back. As we say around the courts, Oy.

Francine tiptoed forward and placed on my desk a two-day-old copy of The Daily News opened to the item concerning Mark Samuels’ death.

“I gotta go, Lee,” I said.

While Francine waited for me, she had backed into a corner of my office, leaned against the wall, and tried to make her six feet of lanky body less noticeable. Two large metal buttons were pinned to her heavily braided cotton sweater. One read Stop Fracking New York and the other protested against the annual Canadian seal hunt with a scarlet X through an image of a baby seal whose brains had been battered to a pink pulp.

I pointed at the newspaper and gave her a questioning glance, but she quickly averted her eyes to stare at the floor.

“Have you been listening to me at all?” Lee demanded. Her voice rose to a kind of exasperated wail. “David has been dating someone. I think he may be getting serious.”

“David was born serious, Lee,” I said.

“Stop it, Jane,” she shouted so I had to hold the phone away from my ear. Even Francine raised an eyebrow. “You know what I mean.”

“I’m sorry, Lee.”

“I don’t understand why you’re taking this so nonchalantly. You know you still love him. You could get back together in a heartbeat if you’d just spend a tenth as much time on a relationship as you spend on your career.”

“I’m a lawyer, Lee. Not a—”

A sharp intake of breath followed. “Not a baby maker?” Lee demanded. Anger replaced the plaintive wail. “Is that what you were going to say?”

Would I ever admit that the word had been on the tip of my tongue?

“No. I was going to say, ‘not a librarian’, or the owner of some other nine-to-five job. The hours come with the territory, Lee. David knows that, but deep down in that wonderful heart of his, he also thinks the hours spent at the office are A-okay for the guy, but not for the girl. In any event, Martha didn’t raise her daughter to compete over a man.”

The sound of a whale breaching the surface erupted from the phone. “You’re maddening, Jane.”

“No, I’m busy,” I replied.

Lee sighed. “Well, I have to go too. Laurie is home sick and I’m taking her to the doctor. We’ll talk more later, Jane. I’m not going to sit back and let this happen to my two best friends in the world. I’m going to fight, Jane.”

“Goodbye, Lee.”

She disconnected.

Actually, I wasn’t busy at all, or I wouldn’t have spent even that much time on the phone being lectured by Lee. She’s an old friend from Columbia Law, but enough is enough.

A major litigation I had been working on had settled just a day before and the client and powers-that-be at Adams & Ridge were very happy with me—especially Seymour Ridge. The old man himself had hammered out the settlement shortly after I made the CEO of the party suing our client look like a doofus on the witness stand. So, I had some time on my hands until I was given another assignment.

About the Authors:Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been collaborating on books for forty-six years. Their first joint effort was a student project while Anne was at Bryn Mawr College and Ken attended Haverford. Since then, they have written over twenty books together. They are members of International Thriller Writers. They live and work in New York City, where many of their books are set.

Their Jane Larson series of mystery/thrillers involves a high-powered New York City attorney with a penchant for getting involved in situations that she would be better off leaving alone. These novels have been praised by reviewers for their gritty portrayals of city life, lively characters, fast action, surprise endings and highly polished prose. Jane is cynical and rebellious, but she finds herself drawn to the simple life her deceased mother lived as an attorney who served women unable to afford legal services. The first two books in the series are Weave A Murderous Web and Praise Her, Praise Diana, both published by Melange Books, LLC. A third novel, Mind Me, Milady, will be published in early 2017.

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