Death in Nostalgia City

By Mark S. Bacon

Progress Report: Nostalgia City Mystery Series

2

Movies and television shows have soundtracks, why not novels?  Occasionally I like soft music playing in the background while I read.  Often, I listen to baroque when I’m writing.  It’s supposed to reduce tension and enhance concentration.  Your heartbeat slows down, you relax and the right and left sides of your brain synchronize.  This must be true, I read it on the Internet.  Actually, if you do a web search, you’ll find a Stanford University study that says essentially the same thing.

jefferson-airplane-white-rabbitRock music and specific songs play an important part in Death in Nostalgia City.  Music is also featured in upcoming books in the series.  More about them in a moment.  I used names of songs in the novel to help set a mood and maintain the book’s retro theme. 

I’m not suggesting you listen to a rock soundtrack while reading Death in Nostalgia City.  Listening to Elvis, for example, doesn’t enhance any cognitive functions I know of.  I have, however, put together a song list that could be background music for the book—were it to be translated into film.  Some of these are mentioned in the book, others just fit the mood. Just as a movie soundtrack CD can bring back the story and characters to your mind, so my song list can remind you of key parts of the book.

Here are the songs I’d put in the CD for Death in Nostalgia City:

Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley
Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf
The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace
White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
Knights in White Satin – Moody Blues
Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley
Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
American Pie – Don McLean
The Weight – A Group Called Smith
Crocodile Rock – Elton John
You’re No Good – Linda Ronstadt
You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones
Riders on the Storm – The Doors
We Gotta Get Out of This Place –  The Animals

New book announcement

Desert Kill Switch will be the next book in the Nostalgia City series and it’s due out later this year from Black Opal Books.  Lyle and Kate are back in a mystery that takes them to Nevada, while Lyle tries to escape memories of a murder and Kate tries to avoid blame for another one.  Lots of creepy, menacing suspects.  No help from the police.

Imagine yourself in the middle of the Nevada desert in August. What classic rock songs come to mind? The soundtrack for this book would vary from light refrains to dark lyrics. Continue Reading →

Missing persons case filled with twists, turns at dawn of Pearl Harbor

1
Maximum Moxie, A Maggie Sullivan mystery
M. Ruth Myers
Tuesday House   Sept. 2016
$3.99 Kindle  $11.99 trade paper
262 pages

Book reviews, particularly for suspense novels, often begin by describing all the action of the first few chapters.  I’m not going to do that here.

In the first chapter of Maximum Moxie, Ruth Myers’ fifth PI novel in the series, Loren Collingswood walks into Maggie Sullivan’s office with a problem.   He’s a founder of a technology company and one of his most brilliant employees has disappeared.  The missing engineer is the key to a new project the company is scheduled to introduce in a week. And Collingswood says he’s been getting maximum-moxiestrange phone calls.  But, he says, “It can’t have anything to do with Gil [the missing employee].  It can’t have anything to do with me.”

Whether the calls are related to the disappearance remains to be seen, but the rest of the scene in Sullivan’s office contains an unconventional surprise you’ll have to discover yourself.

Ultimately,  Sullivan gets the missing persons job.  Now, before you get the wrong idea about a technology company, remember that Sullivan started out as a private eye in 1930s Dayton, Ohio. This book is set in the first week of December 1941.  Technically, that’s one of the surprises—but by no means the only one—in the first chapter.  But never mind, it’s mentioned on the back cover, so the date is no spoiler. The impending war gives the novel an extra sense of uncertainty and realism and provides a hint that the mysterious technology project might have military applications.

Searching for the missing engineer, Sullivan, a scrappy 5-foot-2-inch, 27-year-old, has to first determine if Gil Tremain is a kidnap or murder victim, a blackmailer, thief or traitor. Is he alive or dead?  As Sullivan knows, if Tremain is in peril, the sooner she locates him the greater her chances of not finding him dead.  Continue Reading →

Mystery flash fiction: 100-word crime story

0

Called flash fiction, quick fiction or nano fiction, literature in miniature has been around for decades.  Depending on the author or the editor, flash fiction can be 100 words, 250 words, 55 words, or even six words. Hemingway wrote flash fiction. Although she’s well known as a novelist, Margaret Atwood is also a flash fiction writer. I like the discipline of creating a complete story and finishing with precisely 100 words.

badge-and-gun

Here again is a crime drama in exactly 100 words.  Continue Reading →

%d bloggers like this: