Between the Chalk Lines: Perspective of a Female Detective

I’ve been waiting for this for a long time—to be able to talk with a female detective. I first got to chat with her during #cclivechat on Twitter and now she is here with us on Criminal Lines.

Her name is Suzie Ivy and she is the author of Bad Luck Cadet and Bad Luck Officer. I’ve read the reviews and can’t wait to get a copy of it once it’s in print.  Hope I can get her to autograph it.

Here’s Suzie:

1.  I want to say thank you for stopping by. We appreciate your time.

Thank you for inviting me to be your guest. I love talking about blogging, writing, and being a cop.

2.  Tell us a bit about yourself.

I work as a police detective in a rural Arizona community. I specialize in sex crimes although I work everything from fraud to homicide.

3.  When did you decide that being in law enforcement is what you wanted?

Originally when I was 14-years-old but life and family delayed my dream, although I wouldn’t change a thing. My dream continued when I was 45-years-old and took the leap.

4.  Are there cases that are more difficult to handle than others?

Child molestation cases are my primary specialty and they are sad, challenging, and often devastating. I practice meditation along with bending the ear of an excellent therapist. It took me a couple of years to realize I needed the release of a counselor. We laugh that she must seek out her own therapist after my visits.

5.  Is the “CSI Factor” an irritant to you as an LEO?

Ten time YES. It’s what juries know and we must gently re-educate them. I want to say, “Look, only an idiot would store evidence in a plastic bag. The oils from plastic contaminate everything.” What I say is, “Take for example plastic being used on a show such as CSI. It looks great for the cameras but unfortunately they ruin all their evidence due to the contaminating oils in plastic.” I then laugh while shaking my head up and down so they can laugh and nod their heads with me.

6.  What TV series has impressed you with their accuracy in detailing crime scenes?

I haven’t fallen in love or been impressed with a cop/CSI TV series since Hill Street Blues. I will shamefully admit to enjoying Sons of Anarchy.

7.  I enjoy reading your blog, The Bad Luck Detective: From Midlife Crisis to Police Detective. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and I’ve cheered. Your posts are fun and upfront. Can you explain your reason for starting the blog?

Again this goes back to therapy. I needed an outlet to remember why I became an officer. I needed to show the lighter side of the job and I also wanted people to see cops as human beings. We make mistakes, we laugh and we cry.

8.  You have over 4,000 readers. Did you ever dream that your content would interest so many?

No, I remember that first comment from someone I didn’t know. I pinched myself and grinned from ear to ear. If the bruises lasted, I would have nowhere else to pinch. I also think with all the turmoil in the world, people are looking for laughter. Nothing delights me more than those LOL and ROTFLMAO comments.

Some of my posts get carried away in the comments and they are more fun than what I originally wrote. I love when that happens.

9.  Now, you’ve written two books. Bad Luck Cadet and Bad Luck Officer. Please tell us about them.

Bad Luck Cadet began my entire blog career. A friend told me about blogging so I posted the first chapter of BLC and then another. The series was picked up by NoQuarter USA, a political blog and ran as a serial novel. Things just kind of went from there as I retold the story of my experiences at the police academy at the age of 45.

Bad Luck Officer was written as a book and not a blog. The writing is much better, shows what I’ve learned about writing, and it’s told more as a story about my first two years as a cop.

10.  Is there another book in the works?

I am currently working on Bad Luck in Small Town about a true-life homicide investigation. I’m known to have very odd cases and this is one of those. It’s actually a novella (about 35,000 words) and it’s a holdover for Bad Luck Detective which will be out next year.

11.   What do you do to find your muse?

Nature. I am very spiritual; I have a healing garden with a pond and large goldfish. I encourage wildlife including, birds, rabbits, bees & wasps, snakes, lizards, spiders, etc. to join me. Sitting in my garden helps me to focus and develop ideas.

12.   Do you use a prop while writing?

Music is my MUST. Right now I’m listening to native flute though I’m known to crank up the hard rock-n-roll just as often. I also like sexy, naughty, dirty blues.

13.   Who is your favorite author?

There are so many and it’s always changing. This is my top ten list for today: Stephen King, Ilona Andrews, Lavyrle Spencer, Robert Crais, Lee Child, JK Rowling, Thomas B. Constain, Og Mandino, Janet Evanovich, and Patricia Briggs. I’m very eclectic and there are hundreds more.

14.   What advice would you give women considering going into law enforcement?

Full steam ahead. We must attract more women to law enforcement. You are needed at every level. If you’re heading to the police academy start 100 push-ups a day now!

15.   Name three people that have inspired you and why.

Amelia Earhart: I discovered I was born on her birthday when I was eight-years-old. I’ve read every book written about her life. She was and continues to be amazing.

Katherine Swynford: This most beloved and most romantic heroine defied everything and everyone for her love of John of Gaunt in 14th century England. Again, I’ve read every account of the two written, but my favorite remains Katherine by Anya Seton.

My mother: I’ve told so many stories about her. My favorite is her insistence that in my lifetime there will be a female president and there is no reason it cannot be me. I was probably 5-years-old the first time she recited those words and I grew up with them.

She has always encouraged bravery, honesty, and love.  She had never stopped believing in me and she is my biggest hero.

16.   One last thing, can you please suggest to aspiring crime writers what they can do to make their books more believable?

Police officers love to feel special. Call your local law enforcement (especially detectives) ask procedural questions. Ask if they would read an excerpt that you’re not sure about. Get their email address. I think writers feel too intimidated to ask but so many would rather you get it right for a change and would love to help.

It all began when I was forty-five years old and decided to lose weight, get in shape and attend the police academy. I became the first female officer in my small town and two years later a detective.

When I’m not working on my next big case, you can find me writing, gardening, taking care of my horse and dogs or playing dominoes with my husband.

I write about the humorous side of my career in law enforcement as I stumble through my mid-life adventure.

Best Wishes, Suzie Ivy

To learn more about Suzie, please visit her blog at

Other links in the Between the Chalk Lines Series

Between the Chalk Lines: Forensically Speaking

Between the Chalk Lines: Warming Up to Cold Cases

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