Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Retro mystery novel

Deadly Vegas chase:
450 miles to Reno…with a twist

On an empty desert road, stressed-out ex-cop Lyle Deming finds a bullet-riddled body next to a mint-condition 1970s Pontiac Firebird. When he returns to the scene with sheriff’s deputies: no car, no body. Does the answer lie in Nostalgia City where Lyle works? The Arizona retro theme park re-creates—in every detail—an entire small town from the early 1970s. 

Nostalgia City VP Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star, is in Nevada on park business when she gets mixed up with a sleazy Las Vegas auto dealer who puts hidden “kill switches” and GPS trackers in cars he sells—mainly to low-income buyers.  Miss a payment—sometimes by as little as a few days—and your car is dead.  Maybe you are, too.

When Kate’s accused of murder in Reno, Lyle arrives to help his blonde, not-quite-girlfriend and they plow through a deadly tangle of suspects and motives. 

Kate and Lyle hit one dead end after another as they struggle to exonerate Kate, catch a blackmailer, save a witness’s life, and help find the missing corpse. 

This book received the top fiction award in the 2018 Great Southwest Book Festival and was a Top Shelf Magazine Indie Award nominee.

Read sample chapters here.


“Desert Kill Switch is a well written whodunit that was a blast to read. The author masterfully brings the 1970’s to life again, laced with a wickedly suspenseful whodunit.”

–Robin Thomas

“…straight out of classical detective fiction…told at a fun, engine-revving pace.”
–Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

“Bacon’s prose is slick, his dialogue taut, and he makes great use of short chapters to tempt the reader to keep turning those pages. His creation of Nostalgia City, a retro theme park in which nothing older than 1975 is allowed, is a stroke of genius!”

–Mark Campbell
Promoting Crime (UK)


This book is a gritty, fast-paced, and quick read; especially quick because it’s difficult to put the book aside after reading the first few pages. The characters are engaging. The plot has plenty of twists and turns, lots of suspects and motives, and…a missing vintage car and a missing corpse.

–Cherie Jung
OverMyDeadBody. com

More reviews on the next page, here.

Enjoy your Nostalgia City visit;
Most guests come home alive

Ex-cop Lyle Deming is on edge. That’s been his default setting for years, but his new job, driving a cab in a theme park, promises to cure his chronic anxieties. Nostalgia City is the ultimate resort for anyone who wants to visit the past. A meticulous recreation of an entire small town from the early 1970s, it’s complete with period cars, music, clothes, hair styles, shops, restaurants, hotels–the works.

The relaxed, theme-park atmosphere is just what Lyle needs to relax and shed his reputation as a nut job.  But when  rides are sabotaged and tourists killed, the park founder, billionaire “Max” Maxwell, drafts Lyle into investigating—unofficially.   As the violence escalates and employees get rattled, Lyle gets help. Kate Sorensen, the park’s PR director–and a former college basketball player with lots of moxie–becomes another incognito investigator. But she’s 6’ 2½” and drop-dead gorgeous. So much for incognito.

Together, Lyle and Kate must unravel a conspiracy of corporate greed and murder.

To read sample chapters, click here and scroll down.

Death in Nostalgia City is a fascinating mystery set in a highly authentic world of 60s & 70s nostalgia – and the story works compellingly on both levels. It’s an excellent read that’s loaded with iconic touchstones of ‘60s-‘70s pop culture – music, fashion, TV, movies. Death in Nostalgia City is a blast!”

–Dick Bartley – host of radio’s “The Classic Countdown” and “Rock & Roll’s Greatest Hits”

Order-from-Amazon-Web-optim“Bacon handles a complicated story well, giving us realistic characters in bad trouble. By the end of the book, he ties it all up in a satisfying conclusion. Death In Nostalgia City has good characters, a fast-moving story, complicated twists, and a great climax.”

–Todd Borg, best-selling author of the Owen McKenna Tahoe mysteries series

“The book pulled me in from the very beginning and never let me go….

There is so much to love about this book.  The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  Both Lyle and Kate have very many human traits that we all have.  Both Lyle and Kate come into each other’s lives and into the investigation with baggage.  Kate has problems with commitments.  Lyle left the police force under questionable circumstances and really struggles with his anxiety disorder.  They’re realistic and easy to start caring and worrying about.”

–Open Book Society


“Bacon has created a unique theme resort and world-class mystery in Death in Nostalgia City.  Like amusement park attractions that offer immersive experiences, this novel will transport you to seemingly safe and sterile streets of another time . . . only those streets are not necessarily safe.  If action and suspense are your idea of a fun vacation, put this must-read novel on your travel itinerary.”

–Jim Hillman, author, Amusement Parks
  Director, National Amusement Park Historical Association



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