Hi. My name is Ellie Foreman and I’m a documentary/industrial video producer in Chicago. I am also the protagonist of author Libby Fischer Hellmann’s first series (she has two series and several stand-alone thrillers—13 in all). JUMP CUT is the 5th book in MY series, but the previous four feature me, my daughter Rachel, my father Jake, best friend Susan, my ex-husband Barry, as well as a very special person I’ll tell you about in a minute.
They call me an amateur sleuth, but I’ve never really understood the difference between amateur and professional. Sure, a police detective or PI is considered “professional,” but there are just times when a solving a mystery needs a personal touch. My first case, AN EYE FOR MURDER, was just that. It was a mystery that had its roots back in World War Two, and my Dad was very much involved. It started with a letter sent to me by a woman who rented a room to an elderly man who died. The story turned out to be pretty scary – and although I do have a sense of humor, EYE isn’t what some readers call a “cozy.” In fact, Libby used to describe the series as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24.” Up until JUMP CUT, I agreed with her.
|A Shot To Die For|
Okay. Now to JUMP CUT. Before I became a video producer, I worked in broadcast news in Chicago. I thought I would eventually become the president of NBC News, but life had other plans. Which included a story I researched and produced about restaurant payoffs that turned out to be wrong. It wasn’t that payoffs weren’t happening (this IS Chicago, after all)…but I accused the wrong people of taking those payoffs. I was fired.
So I started to produce industrial videos for corporations and associations. I am usually producing something in all of the Ellie books, and JUMP CUT was no exception. We were creating a video for Delcroft Aviation, the giant airplane and defense contractor in downtown Chicago. In the middle of production, though, VP of Engineering Charlotte Hollander, cancelled the video. She said it was amateurish, and that her twelve year old son could have done a better job. Ouch.
After I picked myself up off the floor, I decided there had to be another reason she cancelled the project. In fact, I suspected she might have been spooked by some shots of a specific man in our B-roll. (B-roll is also called “cover footage” and is used to cover narration or statements from experts when appropriate). I had the man’s business card, and tried to meet with him to ask why his presence in the video would have upset Hollander. We were supposed to get together at a Starbucks underneath the El tracks in Chicago, but before we could talk, he jumped—or was pushed—to his death in front of a fast-moving El train.
That was the start of what became a harrowing few weeks. I can’t tell you too much without ruining the story for you, but I can tell you it involved espionage in the post-Snowden era, and included drones, hackers, Chinese spies, and file encryption. And much more.
I hope you’ll want to read JUMP CUT. I know Libby would be thrilled, and if you order it THIS WEEK, you’ll only have to pay 99¢. It’s a special introductory offer to her fans. After March 6, the price goes up to $4.99.
So thanks for reading this far, and I hope you’ll want to hear more of my story.
|The Ellie Foreman Mysteries|