Roscoes in the night . . . Has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? Well, it does if you grew up reading hardboiled crime fiction, like I did, and watching TV shows like The Untouchables. It conjures up images of snap-brim fedoras, blazing tommy-guns, and low-slung roadsters with running boards. Don’t know what running boards were? You can look ’em up. They were pretty cool.
The fact that the Wardens from Tanglewood can open a door in the House and find themselves in the Roaring Twenties is one of the wonderful things about the Latchkeys series. These characters can go anywhere in time and space, any place that ever existed . . . and some that didn’t. So in a series that encompasses fantasy, science fiction, and horror, there’s no reason Mercy, Marguerite, Jeremy, and Matt can’t find themselves smack-dab in the middle of a war between bootleggers in the New York City of 1922.
When Kris Katzen and I first came up with the idea for this two-parter, we envisioned a fast-paced yarn full of local color, humor, and plenty of action. With the able assistance of Paul Kupperberg, I think that’s what we have in The Bootleg War and Roscoes in the Night. Paul and Kris left me with a great cliffhanger at the end of Part One that had all of our heroes in serious danger of losing their lives. In order to get them out of that fix and allow them to defeat the bad guys, I knew that Part Two would need to feature action, action, and more action.
And sure enough, in Roscoes in the Night, thousands of machine gun rounds are fired, a bomb blows up, and there are wild chases both above and below the streets of Manhattan. Don’t pause to take a breath too often, or the excitement will blow right past you. I had a blast writing this story, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Look for this installment at month’s end!