Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Category Archives: Locales

Reading group guide for Death in Nostalgia City

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Questions for discussion
  1. The book begins in central Arizona, but the plot leads the main characters to Boston and back. How do the multiple settings contribute to the book? How do they affect the actions of the main characters?
  2. Lyle’s relationship with his father generates both anger and guilt. What does he mean by that and how does this motivate him throughout the story? Does he have other motivations?
  3. How would you describe Kate Sorensen’s role in the story? How does her approach to challenges differ from Lyle’s?
  4. How important is the retro theme of Nostalgia City to the theme of the book? How do they differ? Do you think the author has an opinion about the value of celebrating or enjoying the past?
  5. In the face of Lyle’s fairly obvious instability, is Kate justified in trusting him?
  6. This is a mystery, but the author establishes FedPat Corporation as a likely source of criminal activity early on. Did this leave enough questions for the reader to solve? How close to the actual workings of a large insurance company, excluding perhaps murder, do you think this is? 
  7. Kate uses her background in competitive athletics as inspiration to deal with crises without looking back. How does it work?
  8. How does Lyle employ his “loiter and listen” strategy?  Is it effective?
  9. Lyle and others make references to celebrities and events from past decades, some of which may be obscure.  Do references to people such as Vic Tanny and Jeannie C. Riley puzzle you or contribute to the setting of the story? 

Best-seller list announcement

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Death in Nostalgia City has made the best-seller list. Okay, not The New York Times list or USAToday or the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s on the Mendocino coast’s Independent Coast Observer’s best seller list. Supplied by Four-Eyed Frog Books in Gualala, Calif., the list shows the most popular books on that beautiful stretch of northern California.

The store hosted me for a talk about murder mysteries and I signed copies of my book. Many thanks to Joel and Jeremy Crockett who operate the bookstore.

Reviews, Reviews

“The book pulled me in from the very beginning and never let me go.” That’s a quote from a just-posted review of Death in Nostalgia City by the Open Book Society.

“I had to keep turning pages as fast as I could to find out what was going to happen to Lyle and Kate” the reviewer wrote.   For the complete review, go to the Open Book Society’s website.

Where are we?

Locales for murder mysteries can become almost another character in the story. A good mystery can not only capture your imagination and challenge you with clues, it can transport you anywhere on the globe. Do you like mysteries at the seashore, in dark alleys or mountain tops? In a new guest column on Cecile Sune’s website, I explore the importance of locales. The story is filled with examples from some wonderful novels.

Hyperlinks:

Independent Coast Observer Best-seller list

Open Book Society

Cecile Sune’s Book Obsessed

Coming next time: reviews of two new, exciting mystery novels featuring strong-willed female amateur sleuths.

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