Welcome Guest Sandra Bretting #giveaway

These are the winners of Sandra’s ebook giveaway: Judith, Cherie, Carla, Alicia, and Mark. Watch for an email from Sandra!

Welcome, Sandra! I love the premise of Sandra’s new book The Safecracker’s Secret! Here’s a bit about the book:

A tragic death, an old-time safecracker, and his young protege. By the time Gene Jacks gets called into a murder investigation by the Houston P.D., it’s anyone’s guess who’s conning whom.

When police summon Jacks to the scene of a crime one steamy summer night, he knows the drill: he’ll be asked to crack a safe left behind by a drug dealer, Mob embezzler, or worse. He doesn’t expect to waltz into a murder investigation. Especially when police target his young protege as one of their chief suspects.Can Gene protect the girl, who’s become like a daughter to him, while there’s still time?

Look at the end of the post for a chance to win one of five ebook copies of The Safecracker’s Secret!

The Art and Science of Safecracking

During the ten years I spent writing feature stories for the Houston Chronicle, I came across many fascinating characters. One of my favorites was a safecracker who worked with the Houston Police Department to break into safes left behind by drug dealers, money launderers, and others.

Apparently, the HPD relies on old-time safecrackers when they don’t want the goods inside a safe damaged. (Otherwise, they simply “blast” the box open.) Or, they need it in a hurry and manual safecracking still is the fastest option.

Once I finished the feature story, I knew an awful lot about how to crack a safe. I also liked the idea of writing a story that revolved around an elderly safecracker and his young protégé.

I’ve tried to imbue The Safecracker’s Secret with insider knowledge about the industry. Such as…did you know safecrackers still hold competitions around the country where they compete to see who’s fastest? Or that Hollywood totally misses the mark when it comes to showing safecrackers on the big screen? The idea of someone placing an ear—or even a stethoscope—against the door to a safe is laughable, because too many layers of tempered steel muffle the clicks of a dial. Finally, did you know safecracking is all about math? No less than Richard Feynman, the eminent physicist, was obsessed with safecracking while he worked on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. He cracked into the file cabinets of his coworkers on the weekends and left them open until Monday morning so he could see the looks on people’s faces when they got back to work.

All of which is to say, I developed am honest fascination with safecracking while writing this book, and I hope it shines through the pages of The Safecracker’s Secret. I was sad to leave behind the main characters, Gene and Skye, at the end, because I enjoyed spending time with them.

Readers: Do you have a favorite movie safecracker, or maybe a literary spy who dabbles in this almost-lost art? Leave your answer here and I’ll conduct a random drawing for five free eBooks of The Safecracker’s Secret. Best of luck to you!

Author Bio:

 Sandra Bretting is the author of a bestselling cozy mystery series that ran for five years with Kensington Publishing, as well as several standalone titles. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she began her career writing for the Los Angeles Times, Orange Coast Magazine, and others.  From 2006 until 2016, she wrote feature stories for the award-winning business section of the Houston Chronicle.

The Missy DuBois Mystery Series follows milliner and bona fide Southern belle Missy DuBois. Book six in the series debuted inJuly 2020. Bretting also wrote a Christian memoir, Shameless Persistence, which was featured on The 700 Club and Cornerstone Broadcasting Network. She invites readers to connect with her at http://www.sandrabretting.com.

40 Thoughts

    1. Too bad the oldtime safecrackers are fading away…it’s definitely a dying art!

  1. I love the premise of your book and the idea of mentoring. The movie Oceans Eleven had a good safecracking scene (oh, and a good looking cast!).

    1. You’re right…the cast was incredibly good looking. Gene Jacks (the protagonist) isn’t quite as good looking as George Clooney, but he stole my heart while I was writing him 🙂

  2. Welcome to the blog! I love the premise of your book, Sandra. I wrote a short story with a main character who learned safecracking from her late father – but then finds a desiccated hand in with a rich woman’s jewelry! Frankly, I skirted the fine details of how she opened the safe. ;^)

    1. Opening a safe is even tougher than it looks…these men (and a few women) practice for years and years :0

    1. Thanks Dru Ann. I’m so grateful for all the support you’ve given me over the years 🙂

    1. Apparently Hollywood gets a lot of things wrong about safecrackers. The ol’ stethoscope scene is just one of them!

    1. Thanks, Jackie! I never knew the police used safecrackers, either, until I started writing this book. Apparently, it’s a common practice :0

  3. This sounds good. I can’t think of a safecracker right now but I’m sure I’ve read a few.

    1. Thanks for the compliment, Sandy! I had a LOT of fun researching & writing this book.

  4. Lately we have been watching Miss Fisher’s Mysteries and she can crack a safe with the best of them. She also has her own lock picks!

  5. Awesome, another book by Sandra. I’ve been following The Missy DuBois Mystery Series.

    1. Thanks, Sherry! This book was so much fun to research and write. I’m going to miss spending time with those characters now 🙁

    1. Thanks, Liz. It’s one of my favorites among the books I’ve written. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Barbara. I first learned about safecracking because of a newspaper assisgnment, and I became fairly obsessed with it. 🙂

  6. This sounds interesting. I’d love to read it!

    Favorite literary safecracker? The only one springing to mind is Van Shaw from the series by Glen Erik Hamilton. I do love the character, so he definitely counts.

    1. Thanks, Mark! The whole field of safecracking was fascinating to me. Who knew these men (and a few women) still exist and they still compete against eachother?

  7. The book sounds fascinating! I feel betrayed by all the TV shows & movies with safecrackers listening to the tumblers & look forward to reading about the real thing.

    1. Thanks, Judith! Funny how Hollywood ignores the fact that a human ear can’t hear through three layers of tempered steel :0

  8. Congratulations on your new release ! Your book sounds and looks so very intriguing . This is so very interesting about the safecrackers, thank your sharing about it. Have a great week and stay safe.

    1. Thanks, Alicia. I really enjoyed researching and writing this one. Hope you have a great week, too!

  9. I cannot think of a single one. Thank you for the opportunity. God bless you.

  10. Bernie Rhodenbarr is my favorite gentleman thief and safecracker. Author – Lawrence Block.

    1. Good one, Avis. And I love the term “gentleman thief.” I’ll bet he wore a tuxedo to crack a safe 🙂

    1. I’m a big Christopher Plummer fan, too. He was perfect in The Sound of Music.

  11. Always been fascinated by the art of safecracking. I think it would be enjoyable to read and learn more about it. Thanks for the chance!

    1. You’re welcome, Cherie! It’s fun to learn about quirky occupations/hobbies, isn’t it?

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