Stephen E. Solomita was born on November 29, 1943, in New York City and raised with a brother and two sisters in the city’s environs. He was the son of auto parts warehouseman Ernest Solomita and commercial artist Evelyn Klein Solomita. An eager reader, during his early teenage years he knew he wanted to be a writer and began publishing essays and stories in the Bayside High School literary magazine and in other periodicals. Following graduation, Solomita attended Queens College in the early 1960’s as a literature major but did not graduate. He afterward worked at a variety of jobs, including a stint at his father’s warehouse, while occasionally publishing stories and researching subjects of interest that would later figure in his fiction. He was particularly fascinated by the history of the New York Police Department and the criminal justice system.
In 1983, Solomita bought a taxi medallion and drove a cab in New York City for twelve hours per day for several years. This experience allowed him to closely observe passengers, gave him an unparalleled feel for the geography of the city, and provided a plethora of material for his fiction. Fearful that he would end up killing someone or being killed in his dangerous occupation, Solomita quit piloting taxis in favor of the safer, if less secure, task of writing.
Solomita’s first mystery was the initial novel in his hard-boiled series focusing on New York City police officer, later private...
(The entire section is 468 words.)