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Thursday, April 18, 2019


Susan Cory, an award-winning Cambridge architect, is the author of the Iris Reid Mystery Series, featuring Cambridge amateur sleuth Iris Reid. Today she joins us to speak about the inspiration behind the third book in the series. Learn more about Susan and her books at her website.

Have you ever wondered what could happen if you didn't totally wipe your hard drive before getting rid of your old computer? Or what could happen if any of the blank checks sent by credit cards fell into the wrong hands?

I live in a close-knit community in Cambridge, Ma. Most of us know Joe, our long-time mail deliverer, and he knows us. So when Joe was instructed to forward a certain household's mail to an address in a neighboring town, he knew that the family hadn't moved. He alerted the police who discovered a ring of con artists who were diverting people's mail in order to steal identities and cash any checks from their mail.

While this scam was coming to light, I was busy trying to figure out how to get rid of my old computer.  Some computer stores and charities advertise that they'll remove your personal information before recycling your old equipment, but what if one of their employees is less than honest?

These two ideas came together to suggest a plot for Doppelgänger, my third book in the Iris Reid mystery series. A family of grifters uses Iris Reid's stolen identity to commit a crime. While stripping Iris' data off her old computer, Rosica Bakalov, notices her own striking resemblance to this new “mark”. She becomes fascinated with Iris and starts to stalk her. Meanwhile, Iris, out on bail, is desperate to pick up her doppellgänger's trail before her case goes to trial.

By the way, my husband smashed my hard drive with a hammer before I took my last computer to be recycled. I wasn't taking any chances... 

I'd love to know how you get rid of your old computers by posting a comment here.

An Iris Reid Mystery, Book 3

During a robbery, a bank guard is shot. The license of the getaway car is traced to Architect Iris Reid. When the police arrest Iris and show her security footage of the robbery, she sees her own face looking back.

Scrambling to defend herself against an airtight case, Iris discovers that her mail's been diverted to an abandoned apartment in the next town. She's able to find a clue there that allows her to pick up her doppelganger’s trail.

But someone is watching her every move.

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Jackie Layton said...

Your story sounds fascinating.

As far as giving away computers, we've saved our because we were told they could never be completely wiped. There's always somebody smart enough to dig up your information.

I like your hammer idea.

Happy Easter!

Susan Cory said...

Thanks, Jackie. Now that hackers are getting more and more sophisticated, it's a nightmare to imagine them getting their hands on your personal information. Smashing the hard drive is the only solution I can see working for now.It's a scary world out there.

Liz Boeger said...

I like this story's premise--believable and compelling.

Be Well!
Liz Boeger

Susan Cory said...

Thanks, Liz. I'm just getting back from Holiday travel so i'm late responding, but thanks for your post!