Death in Nostalgia City

By Mark S. Bacon

New mystery releases

1
Front-Page-AffairA Front Page Affair (Kitty Weeks Mystery)
Radha Vatsal
Sourcebooks Landmark,  May 3, 2016
336 Pages
Kindle  $9.99  Paperback  $11.40

 

Radha Vatsal, debut author of the new mystery A Front Page Affair, grew up in Mumbai, India and came to the United States to attend boarding school when she was 16.  Growing up, she says, she loved reading mysteries.

“Agatha Christie was my introduction to the genre and Dick Francis taught me that mysteries could draw me into a world that I knew nothing about—in this case horseracing—and teach me a lot,” she says.

Her fascination with the 1910s, setting for her new mystery series, began when she studied women filmmakers and action-film heroines of silent cinema at Duke University, where she earned her Ph.D. in English.  “I chose the mid-1910s for the setting of my novel because so much was happening then—culturally and politically,” she says, “and yet it remains a relatively under-explored area in fiction.”

Settling on a heroine was a harder,” says Vatsal, “she had to be someone who could carry a series and who was able to undertake an investigation, but at the same time, she needed to be part of her milieu. She couldn’t flaunt all the rules that applied to women during the 1910s because that would take away some of the tension and the fun.  So, she became a reporter for the Ladies’ Page of a newspaper:

The Lusitania has just been sunk, and headlines about a shooting at J.P. Morgan’s mansion and the Great War are splashed across the front page of every newspaper. Capability “Kitty” Weeks would love nothing more than to report on the news of the day, but she’s stuck writing about fashion and society gossip over on the Ladies’ Page―until a man is murdered at a high society picnic on her beat.

Determined to prove her worth as a journalist, Kitty finds herself plunged into the midst of a wartime conspiracy that threatens to derail the United States’ attempt to remain neutral―and to disrupt the privileged life she has always known.

 

Roftop-Angels---JamesRooftop Angels
Tierney James
e-Book Press Publishing,  June 3, 2016
291 pages
Kindle $3.99; free June 8 only; Paperback, 13.99

 

I believe world geography connects everything around us, says Tierney James, author of the new novel, Rooftop Angels.

“I was a geo-teacher for National Geographic where we taught students five very important themes: location, place, human environmental interaction, movement and region.”

The training, she says, “brought such a love for the world community to my life that I tied it to everything I taught, wrote and read. In my mind’s eye the earth became a series of dominoes, balancing precariously on a shaky table where every action forced a reaction.”

And so it is in Afghanistan in Rooftop Angels:

When Tessa Scott wakes with blood on her hands in a rat-infested shack in Afghanistan, she discovers six orphan girls and the Undersecretary of State counting on her for protection. Confused at how she got there or why a smoldering Black Hawk helicopter has crashed outside the village, forces her into yet another adventure of cat and mouse with the Taliban who intend to kidnap them.

With the help of a Kyrgyz tribesman and his men, they elude the danger only to discover their protection comes at a price which involves marriage to the leader. An unexpected chance at new love outweighs the secret Tessa must now carry forever. Meanwhile Captain Hunter, an Enigma agent, desperately searches for her before she disappears on the rooftop of the world. A race against time and ruthless drug lords, who work with the U.S. government, create obstacles which change Tessa’s life in a way she never expected.

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