TOO BUSY TO HATE is a collection of fast-paced, character-driven, mystery-thriller stories set in Atlanta, the capital of the New South. Detective Diana Siddal and Inspector Mustapha Alawi of the Atlanta Police Department investigate lurid murders and bring their perpetrators to justice—and sometimes, find themselves outwitted.
These stories range in length but remain focused on dialogue and character: con artists, a chicken-loving hippie, an affluent family, a housebreaker, a beloved wife, a dozen people at a trivia contest, a lynched lawyer, a less-beloved wife and a vagrant. Each of them is a human being, and each crime springs from human motivations: there are no supercops nor godlike serial killers here. Each story captures not only the consistent characters of Diana and Mustapha and other law enforcement personnel, but also the characters of victims, perpetrators and witnesses alike.
The stories are steeped in the unique climate and culture of Atlanta, a city on a hill overlooking the humid South, full of Yankees and other foreigners in deep-red Georgia, a mix of entrepreneurs and hipsters and strivers. After Sherman burned the city in 1864, Atlantans shrugged and rebuilt on top of the ashes, one story up so the trains could run underneath. Julian Cage’s stories embody the character of a city where people come to reinvent themselves—and who can find themselves involved in crime. TOO BUSY TO HATE gives readers Atlanta in all its mirrored and tattered glory.