Gramercy novelist releases second mystery in new series about investigative reporter

Author Dick Belsky ‘s book will be released on May 7. (Photo courtesy of Dick Belsky)

By Sabina Mollot

Last year, Gramercy-based novelist Dick Belsky debuted this third series of books featuring a reporter looking to unravel a serious crime. A year later, that book’s sequel, Below the Fold, is being released on May 7 with Oceanview in paperback and on Kindle.

The original novel, called Yesterday’s News, had revolved around an ambitious woman named Clare Carlson who heads a TV station newsroom. While appearing to be successful, her personal life is in shambles as a result of her nonstop devotion to her job. In that book, Carlson is forced to faced her own troubled past when a missing girl whose case she’d covered extensively is brought back into the headlines 15 years later.

In Below the Fold, Carlson finds herself drawn to a story that she knows isn’t salacious or sexy enough to get good ratings — the murder of a homeless woman — but is nonetheless determined to find out who the victim was before her life was cut short. The title is a reference to a term in journalism referring to news stories that aren’t important enough to make the top section of a newspaper’s front page.

Belsky said he wanted to have a plot centering around this kind of story because news outlets are often criticized for giving only minor coverage, if any, to murders that don’t involve someone beautiful or famous. And Belsky, who worked as a journalist for years before transitioning to fiction writing, has personally been on the receiving end of such criticism. He’s worked as a reporter or editor for a number of companies including The Daily News, Star magazine and the NBC news website as well as The New York Post, where he helped come up with the legendary “Headless Body in Topless Bar” headline.

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JP Morgan Chase employee running against Maloney

Lauren Ashcraft at one of her comedy benefits, pictured on an evening she raised money for survivors of 9/11 (Photo by Kristen Wilson)

By Sabina Mollot

On the heels of what was the most competitive primary race Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney faced in about a decade last year, another millennial who’s never held office is now also attempting to unseat the 25-year incumbent.

Lauren Ashcraft, a Turtle Bay resident who works as a project manager for JP Morgan Chase, officially launched her Congressional campaign at the end of March.

Since then, the 30-year-old Democrat has been raising some small donations (around $2,500 so far) from those who like her elevator pitch promising to get big money out of politics.

“I feel it’s a central issue because progressive issues are stalled because it,” said Ashcraft, who has pledged not to take any corporate or superPAC money. Her donations have been mostly in the $50 range, but she’s hoping her campaign will be taken seriously with the help of a volunteer staff of 15 and by getting a head start. The Democratic Congressional primary isn’t until 2020 and candidates won’t even have to start petitioning until next year.

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