By Carroll Oswalt
The Chartreuse Envelope: Murder in Memphis by Dr. James C. Paavola, is a suspense/thriller written from the perspective of a fictional psychologist working with Memphis police officers as they solve murders. This is the first in a planned series of novels with the second book scheduled for release early next year.
In this story the conflict begins when the sub-prime mortgage strategies begin to unwind in 2007 and the stock market experiences the first waves of economic collapse. Against this backdrop, Dr. Charleze Mitchell plans to save her hedge fund by any means necessary—including industrial sabotage, illegal stock price manipulation, and murder.
Beginning with the appearance of a blood-stained chartreuse envelope, Memphis Police Lieutenant Julia Todd systematically uncovers Mitchell’s plot and the planned murders of three biomedical engineers. Both the criminal and the lieutenant are products of abusive parents. One child matured to become protective of others’ rights, while one became self-protective and Machiavellian. These two women lead their respective teams in a high stakes game of “the winner lives.”
Kirkus Discoveries, a national book reviewer, hailed it as an “intricately plotted mystery thriller…sleuthing is engaging…Paavola keeps the action coming and his characters consistently interesting…” And our own Colonel Lori Bullard, Precinct Commander of Union Station, applauded the book as “well thought out…riveting…couldn’t put it down…”
James Paavola has been a practicing psychologist in Memphis for over 35 years, retiring from Memphis City Schools in 1999. He draws upon his expertise with children, adolescents, families, and the education system throughout his writing. From his positions with Memphis City Schools he participated in numerous projects with the Memphis Police Department, including procedures for dealing with substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, violence, youth gangs, and mental illness. He also facilitated Critical Incident Stress Debriefings for fire fighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and members of law enforcement. Psychosocial themes are highlighted throughout this story including: the power of the family, whether nurturing or violent; trauma and the human capacity for resilience; and the importance of empathy in a healthy society.
The Chartreuse Envelope: Murder in Memphis is available in paperback for $13.95 from Davis – Kidd Booksellers in Memphis and at the author’s website, jamespaavola.com. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Memphis Police Foundation, memphispolicefoundation.org. You may contact the author via email at email@example.com or by phone at (901) 233-9202. There is also a book signing scheduled at Davis-Kidd on Saturday, October 23, at 1 pm.
By Carroll Oswalt