Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Category Archives: flash fiction

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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Today’s mystery flash fiction

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The term flash fiction describes exceedingly short stories.  How short?  That depends on who is defining the term.   Some writers and editors put the length at 1,000 words or more while others say flash fiction is but a handful of words.  I prefer the discipline of telling a complete story in precisely 100 words.  Here’s an example:

 

Investigation Closed

Felix and Cheryl exchanged glances as they walked in their front door to see police officers going through cabinets, closets and drawers.

“Are you the Perkins?” asked a detective.

“Yeah,” Felix said, looking around.

“Please sit over there,” the detective said. The couple sat silently and watched.

An hour later: “We found the heroin shipment,” an officer said.

“How did you know?” Felix asked.

“We didn’t,” the detective said. “My partner wanted to quit earlier, but then we realized you didn’t say anything. Most people who come home to find the police nosing around would ask us what we’re doing.”

For the holidays I’m reprising one of my  flash fiction stories from “Cops, Crooks and Other Stories in 100 Words.” Happy holidays to all.

Christmas Bracelets

Trays of expensive necklaces were scattered across the mall jewelry store counter.  A heavy-set man with a white beard and red suit slumped next to the policeman.

“D’you know how many stupid crooks try to rob stores dressed as Santa this time of year?” said the slightly bored detective.

Outside the store, a crowd gathered.

“Take him in,” said the detective to two uniformed officers.

“Don’t put cuffs on me,” said make-believe Santa. “Look at all those kids out there.”

The detective frowned.

“Police escort,” shouted unshackled Santa.  As they walked out, he waved to the crowd with both hands.

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