Shelly Reuben

Biographies & Memoirs, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction

Author Profile

Shelly  Reuben

Shelly Reuben's first novel, Julian Solo, was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar Award and by the Libertarian Futurist Society for a Prometheus. Her crime novel, Origin and Cause, was nominated by the Maltese Falcon Society of Japan for a Falcon; and her adult fable, The Man with the Glass Heart, was a Freedom Book Club selection. Her fiction has been published by Scribner, Harper, Harcourt, and is also available through Blackstone Audio Books.


Spent Matches

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Someone has set a fire at the Zigfield Art Museum in upper Manhattan. It’s a “locked room” kind of fire that couldn’t possibly have occurred. Or could it? Wylie Nolan, assisted by attorney Max Bramble, suddenly has to reconstruct one of the most puzzling fires of his career. Meanwhile, at Wylie’s office building, someone is setting fires in the ladies’ room down the hall, trying to implicate Wylie's friend, attorney Miranda Yee. And on City Island, a final, more devastating fire takes one life and threatens to destroy another. Three fires: Where did they start and who caused them? When Wylie Nolan investigates a fire scene, he does so meticulously. He calls the facts as he sees them; and he notices details that nobody else sees in spent matches, burn patterns, and ashes.

Book Bubbles from Spent Matches

Wylie Nolan investigates a "Locked Room Fire"

Wylie Nolan has been called in to investigate a fire in a Manhattan museum. It is particularly puzzling because the fire occurred in a gallery under constant video surveillance, and all windows, doors, and exits were locked. In this chapter, we are introduced to Wylie as he examines the frames of paintings that were completely destroyed by flames.

Origin & Cause

Literature & Fiction

Cable-TV mogul Stanfield Standish wrote the book and broke the rules in the news and entertainment industry. When his charred body is found inside the burnt-out remains of his classic 1930 Duesenberg sedan, his family files a $52 million damage suit. They blame the fatal “accident” on Courtland Motor Company, the firm that restored the antique. That’s when Courtland’s attorney, Max Bramble, takes over, suspicions sharp and asking questions. His first move: Hire private detective and ace arson investigator, Wylie Nolan. If there’s a flame, Nolan will discover the source. As Nolan brilliantly dissects the fascinating anatomy of a fire, Bramble digs deep into the Standish Empire, and discovers that the media tycoon scalded many on his way up the ladder. It’s just possible that one of them paid him back with hot-blooded murder.

Book Bubbles from Origin & Cause

Philosophy of Fire Investigation

In re-reading this passage, I realize how alluring the challenge was for me to find out where a fire started and what caused it. Fire investigation is wonderful marriage of observation and brain work. Here, Max Bramble, accompanying Wylie Nolan to the inspection of a burned 1930 Duesenburg sedan, starts to understand what makes a good fire investigator and why arson is more difficult to detect than any other crime.

Visiting Wylie Nolan's office for the first time.

Max Bramble, looking for an arson investigator to help him defend a case against his corporate client, comes to Wylie Nolan's office for the first time. There, he meets Miranda Yee, Wylie's colleague, and he soon comes to realize that he has come to the right place.

Come Home. Love, Dad

Biographies & Memoirs

Come Home. Love, Dad warmly introduces us to magical mirrors of every color and shape, giant balls of string, brothers wearing Davy Crockett T-shirts, and stalwart lions who guard the entrance to the Art Institute. And interspersed throughout Shelly Reuben's recollections are the enchanting letters that Sam Reuben wrote to his daughter. Wonderful epistles imparting proverbs, reciting poetry, conveying wit, wisdom, whimsy ... and always ... always letting her know that he loved her, and that he wanted her to Come Home. Love, Dad

Book Bubbles from Come Home. Love, Dad

Mystic, Merry Toyland...

A very brief insight into the delights of having a father with a great imagination who took infinite joy in the creative process. Samuel Reuben was an inventor! That he was also the most wonderful father in the world was a side benefit. And he didn't have to take out a patent to do THAT.

The Art Institute in Chicago

Even after we moved to the suburbs, our hearts remained permanently affixed to the Art Institute. It was there that we memorized paintings ('Song of the Lark' was a favorite), fantasized about houses (the Thorn Miniature Rooms), and sat under the legs of the lions guarding the entrance while we waited for our father to pick us up and take us home.

Introducing Sam Reuben

I wrote COME HOME. LOVE,DAD as a gift for my mother's birthday, never expecting it to gain an audience outside the circle of my family. Much to my surprise, it has become many readers favorite of my books. The comment I hear most often is, 'I wish that Sam had been my father.' How lucky I was!

Julian Solo

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Julian Solo is a novel about a brilliant scientist who died...and yet lives, and who, having experienced this impossible transition, seeks to recreate the circumstances again and again. His purpose is to conquer death; his passion is to save the life of the woman he loves; and his journey is into the void. He wants us to come with him.

Book Bubbles from Julian Solo

Spring in New York Citiy

This scene sets the stage for Mathew Wylie to enter the Steinway Piano Showroom and see his hero, Julian Solo, and his mother, Cynthia Wylie, together first the first time. It is an emotional moment for him, because, he realizes that Cynthia is not just his mother; she is also a woman in love.

Shelly  Reuben

Dabbling in Crime

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

When Shelly Reuben was investigating arson as a private detective, she came across individuals and events that tantalized her mind and touched her heart. Add to that an indelible belief that, even if virtue does not always triumph, it will eventually manage to hobble, stumble or stride across the finish line—and you have these stories. Originally published in The Forensic Examiner and The Evening Sun. Among the fascinating characters within the pages of Dabbling in Crime, meet: • Dante No-Last-Name-No-Middle-Initial, a throwaway kid hiding under a music school staircase, with a damaged heart and the talent of a virtuoso violinist. • Wealthy, beloved Jimmy Lillyjohn, burned to death on the top floor of his mansion after a lighted cigarette falls from his fingers onto his lonely mattress. • Mountainous, mean-spirited Hilda Pomfrey, who bullies everyone in her sphere, including her tree-loving, milquetoast husband Herb. • Police Chief Joseph Steinbeck, who reluctantly participates in a library event, and is almost murdered when he is checked out as a “Human Book.” • Prosecutor Edward Nygh, who hides evidence of arson to convict the wrong man. • Nygh’s reluctant assistant who travels through time to revisit her past.

Book Bubbles from Dabbling in Crime

From the story Tsk. Tsk.

This is the scene where Kay meets Jimmy Lillyjohn for the first time. It reminds me of why Kay fell in love with him, and why - in my own quiet writer-way, I fell a little bit in love with him, too.

A Terrible Thing to Do

This story is about a boy who takes inspiration from the unbroken attendance records of his baseball heroes, Cal Ripkin, Jr. and Lou Gehrig. Not having a Little League team nearby with which to prove himself, he decides to take pride in his own unbroken attendance at school. intervenes.

This story was inspired, not only by the years I spent investigating fires, but also by the many tales told to me by dedicated teachers (heroes one and all), frustrated by the bureaucracy of working in public schools.

Death of a Violinist

Young people and music can create magic or heartbreak, and when they are thrown together ... sometimes both.

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