Dr. Brite, who has no apparent first name, is the coroner of Orleans Parish. This was my earliest career ambition, but slightly later in life I became serious about writing and realized that I probably couldn't have made it through medical school anyway. Dr. Brite is my alternate self who is presumably better at math and chemistry, but who shares my enthusiasm for fine dining.

Whether through laziness or because most writers tend to write first-person narrative in the voice of their own (presumable) gender, many readers assume that Dr. Brite is a woman, and several reviews of the stories have mentioned "the female coroner of New Orleans." I have never stated Dr. Brite's gender one way or the other. Dr. Brite has a husband (Seymour), but so do many men I know. In LIQUOR there is a cameo appearance by a female coroner who may or may not be Dr. Brite. Several readers, mistaking my story "Poivre" for a Dr. Brite tale, have cited mention of the narrator's cleavage and bra as evidence of gender. However, "Poivre" is not a Dr. Brite tale; it's a true story and the narrator is just plain old me.

People ask if there is a Dr. Brite novel in the works. I don't see that the character would be particularly well served by the long form, and though I enjoy reading her books on long plane trips, I've no desire to be the next Patricia Cornwell.



"Monday's Special," first published in LOUISIANA LITERATURE, Volume 15, No. 1. Reprinted in my collection ARE YOU LOATHSOME TONIGHT? (a.k.a. SELF-MADE MAN). Also available as a recording (read by me) on CD from Gauntlet Press. Dr. Brite autopsies a double-crossing drug dealer and finds a surprise.

"O Death, Where Is Thy Spatula?" First published in THE SPOOK #1. Reprinted in my collection THE DEVIL YOU KNOW. A hungry Dr. Brite attempts to save a murdered chef.

"Marisol," first published on Gothic.net. Reprinted in my collection THE DEVIL YOU KNOW. Another chef, this one very much alive, makes even Dr. Brite look like a bit of a weenie.

"The Heart of New Orleans," first published in CITY SLAB #1. Reprinted in my collection THE DEVIL YOU KNOW. Dr. Brite encounters a strange secret inside the body of a drowned child.