Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Category Archives: Death in Nostalgia City

“Death in Nostalgia City” is library assn. selection

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Death in Nostalgia City is one of ten mysteries recommended for book clubs this month by the American Library Association’s Book Club Central.

The theme of this month’s book club selections is fresh starts. In Death in Nostalgia City, one of my two protagonists is ex-cop Lyle Deming. His wife divorced him then he was dismissed from the police department, in part for his erratic behavior.  Anxiety is his default setting.  Desperate  for a stress-free job that has nothing to do with consoling murder victims’ families, Lyle becomes a cab driver—in a theme park.

Nostalgia City is no ordinary theme park.  Covering several square miles in central Arizona, the park is a re-creation of an entire small town from the mid-1970s. Peace and relaxation reigns–until someone starts sabotaging rides and killing tourists.
Continue Reading →

F**king profanity in mystery novels: an update

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First of two parts

Comedian George Carlin had seven words.   Mystery novelist John Sanford has hundreds, but he repeats. John Grisham uses them sparingly.  Many mystery, suspense and thriller writers use them.  But some don’t.

Agatha Christie didn’t.  Neither did a whole generation of cozy authors from Dorothy L. Sayers to Ngaio Marsh to Charlotte MacLeod.

Swear words, dirty words, four-letter words, cuss words or however you describe them are the  way many people—including mystery writers—express themselves.  Are words like f**k and s**t appropriate in mystery fiction?  Or does avoiding profanity altogether make present-day dialog sound tame and artificial?

I’m a little new to mystery writing and the use of expletives still fascinates and puzzles.  I wrote about this topic here when I’d published my first mystery.  Now that I sent the manuscript for my third Nostalgia City mystery to my publisher, I’m still intrigued.  Although I have settled on a profanity policy for my own work, I decided to take another look at the opinions and practices of mystery readers and writers alike.  The result was damn surprising. Continue Reading →

News, upcoming events, articles & profanity

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Listen to me

Recently I was interviewed by Laura Brennan, host of the Destination Mystery podcast.  It’s now posted on the podcast websites listed below.  I talked about my background as a police reporter and as a theme park copywriter.  I responded to questions about specific aspects and details from both Desert Kill Switch and Death in Nostalgia City.  Brennan is a good interviewer and does her homework.

She said she was fascinated that I had come up with creative, unexpected ways that people can break the law.  Truth be told, most of the crimes in my books are loosely based on actual cases.

As I discuss in the interview, the car dealer practices, that make up part of the plot for Desert Kill Switch, are real.  Some dealers really do install kill switches in cars they sell to people they consider high-risk borrowers. I hasten to add this particular practice is not illegal to my knowledge, although some states or local governments recently may have passed laws to regulate kill switches.

I also talk about one of my newspaper crime stories that turned into a multiple-murder case that spanned decades.  As a result, I testified at a murder trial in LA recently.

And, I read one of my mystery flash fiction short stories.

It was fun.  Give a listen.  And thanks, Laura.

Destination Mystery podcast site– Brennan’s interview
Interview via iTunes podcast/download

 

Indie Award nomination

Death in Nostalgia City has been nominated for an Indie Award from Top Shelf Magazine. It’s entered in the action/adventure category.

 

 

Book #3

The third book in the Nostalgia City mystery series, Marijuana Murder, is being edited at Black Opal Books.  I will post its release date soon.  I’m working on mystery #4. 

 

Upcoming events

On Sept. 22 I will talk about “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Mystery Novels” at the South Lake Tahoe branch of the El Dorado (Calif.) County Library. The event is posted on the library’s Facebook page hereVisit the friends of the library website here.

October 14 is the date for the Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca, just south of Stockton, Calif.  I’ll be signing copies of both my mysteries and will be a member of a mystery authors panel discussion. We’re working now on the specific topics we’ll cover.  Joining me on the panel are mystery writers Carole Price and Claire Booth.  Moderator will be Nancy Tingley.  Come by this big book event that benefits literacy programs in California’s Central Valley.  Activities for children, too.

 

Articles (blog posts) in the works

Profanity, aka obscenity, in mystery novels is the topic for the next two articles you’ll see in your email or on my website.  I talk about the evolution of naughty words in mysteries from the pristine prose of Christie and Sayers to the sometimes less-than-polite language of some mystery writers today. Continue Reading →

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