From Vintage Murder by William S. Shepard
We have interviewed police and detectives from across the country. Today we have a different kind of crime solver.
Mr. Cutler, would you tell us about yourself and your agency?
I am Robbie Cutler an American Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State.
When did you first become interested in solving crime?
I was a student at Brown University. I happened to be in a jewelry store when an armed robbery took place. I kept my cool and furnished solid information to the police which helped secure convictions. I became fascinated with crime and detection and retained that interest and ability after I passed the Foreign Service Examination.
Is it unusual to solve crime in your role?
I have found that crime breeds everywhere, and an observant diplomat can help solve the most difficult international crimes.
Tell us about this case.
The Basque terrorist ETA organization is blackmailing the great Bordeaux vineyard owners. One of the victims calls on me, the Acting Consul General at the American Consulate General in Boirdeaux. He has heard the blackmailer’s voice and thought it sounded like an American.
What could you do to help?
I went through the visa files and located a possible suspect. Because I was already working with the French police and their FBI equivalent to share information on terrorism, cooperation to solve this crime was the logical next step, particularly when Ambassador Adams in Paris gave his approval.
Did you have any outside help in solving the case?
I had an enthusiastic helper in Sylvie Marceau, a French newspaper reporter. I am very logical, and Sylvie has the people smarts.
Thank you, Mr. Cutler, for taking the time to talk with us today. I wish you the best in your job as you solve the most difficult crimes across the globe.
William S. Shepard had the idea for a diplomat sleuth one late night when he was duty officer for the Secretary of State. There were so many different reports and intelligence sources that he thought a sleuth would be in seventh heaven. Vintage Murder is the first of four in the Robbie Cutler diplomatic mystery series. Information on his books can be found on his website www.diplomaticmysteries.com