Janyce Stefan-Cole


“The Detective’s Garden is an engrossing journey into one man’s heart.” -Foreword Reviews

"This leisurely yet convoluted thriller from Stefan-Cole opens with the philosophical musings of retired police detective Emil Milosec as he sits alone one June night in the garden of his Brooklyn house ... Crime fans can delight in mulling over all angles with Emil as the plot spirals toward a truly surprising revelation." -Publishers Weekly

"Stefan-Cole has produced a parable that's less a detective story than a story about a detective—dreamlike, ruminative, and filled with questions impossible to answer." -Kirkus Reviews

“This is a mystery of subtle emotional shifts that add up to a climactic change. Like Graham Greene's heroes, Emil is totally enmeshed ... unable to resolve an external mystery until he addresses the internal one." -Not Another Book Review

“If you’re a fan of cross-genre tales with memorable characters, The Detective’s Garden: A Love Story and Medication on Murder will be a satisfying read.” -New Pages

"What I love about The Detective's Garden, besides the fine, suspenseful writing, is Janyce Stefan-Cole's understanding of history—that it is a hostage-taker, a predator, and only fearless storyteller will submit to the undertow of its appetite." -Bob Shacochis, author The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

“Janyce Stefan-Cole’s The Detective’s Garden explores a mystery far deeper than the source of a severed finger that turns up in the garden of retired detective, Emil Milosec. No, the real mystery is the anguished human heart and the trail of grief, bloodshed and savagery that has followed humankind ever since its expulsion from that first Edenic garden, all the way to Emil’s lonely courtyard in Brooklyn. A mystery both gruesome and metaphysical, this is a story that entertains while delving into the deepest conundrum of all—the tragedy that make us human.” -Ed Falco, author The Family Corleone

“Like the best Graham Greene novels, The Detective's Garden coils deeply into a half-buried past. Stefan-Cole explodes the secrets of one man's life into a present that threatens and, finally, at a price, heals—utterly engaging and aware, with the loveliest sense of character and place.” -Varley O’Connor, author The Master’s Muse

Janyce Stefan-Cole’s The Detective's Garden is on my list of favorite books from 2016. Her prose rhythm echoes a hard-boiled detective story, but the novel’s content far exceeds our average expectations for a genre novel. The interior and exterior landscapes are so deftly rendered that readers will live the story, and the language is always popping with surprise. E. L. Doctorow once said to me that the best novelists are poets. I had almost forgotten he’d said that until I found The Detective’s Garden." -Marlon L. Fick, author The Nowhere Man

“Contemplative and intriguing, The Detective’s Garden is the story of ex NYPD Detective Emil Milosec, whose biggest crime is yet to be solved. With her story set in Brooklyn, Stefan-Cole, in beautifully evocative prose, takes us on a journey encompassing loss, love, and suspense, bringing her noir-tinged tale to a satisfying and totally unexpected conclusion.” -John Stewart Wynne, author The Red Shoes

THE DETECTIVE’S GARDEN: A Love Story and Meditation on Murder “It seemed to Emil that all gain in life was measured by loss.” Brooklyn, 1995: hipsters have arrived, developers smell blood and a housing bubble threatens to turn a sleepy semi-industrial waterfront into towers of glass and steel. Ex homicide Detective Emil Milosec figures he’ll be untroubled in his lush garden, alone with his pension and his memories. But a grim discovery in the pepper patch one hot June morning leads him down a path that disrupts those memories, suggesting his late wife, the Trieste beauty Elena Morandi, was not who he thought she was when he found her all those years ago in post-war Slovenia.
A heat wave, a gun, a smattering of science and a bit of Shakespeare, a half forgotten murder, and the nagging twists of Old Testament morality yield The Detective’s Garden, an urban tangle, both noirish and contemplative.

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