Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Category Archives: Mystery novels

Could you disappear?

4
By Lori L. Robinett
First of two parts

Hunted, a current TV show, takes regular people and sends them on the run, hunted by professionals. Think how difficult that would be.  Even those in witness protection are sometimes found. But what if you had to hide? Imagine, you witness a murder and the bad guys know you’ve seen their faces, or you’re wrongly accused of a horrible crime.  Perhaps the authorities have confused you with a terrorist who shares your name or, like the main character in my new book, Fatal Obsession, you are pregnant and your unborn child is the subject of an experiment that holds the key to curing cancer, and a rich, powerful man is determined to harvest that research.  Could you disappear?

Consider all the interactions you have with individuals, how many contacts you have, the fingerprints you leave everywhere you go—virtual and real. And consider the sacrifices you would have to make to truly disappear. Could you do it?  The better question is, how?

Cash – Surviving requires money, and this means cash. No more credit cards, no more ATMs, no more PayPal. If you’re like most people, you might have a small amount of cash on you, but how much do you truly have available? If you had to run right now, you could hit an ATM as soon as you leave home and withdraw as much as possible, but most banks limit how much you can withdraw in a day—and you don’t have the luxury of waiting around to withdraw more tomorrow.

By going to the ATM, you’re leaving 2 trails – a digital trail of the withdrawal, plus a visual trail because there is now camera footage of you at the ATM (so the authorities now know what you look like). 

So, what else can you do? Grab things before you bug out that can be converted to cash, like jewelry, watches, cameras and small electronics. Think about things that can be sold for cash at a pawn shop. You’ll be leaving another trail there, because pawn shops keep records, so you want to pawn these things as quickly as possible, as close to home as possible, so you don’t tell your hunters which direction you’re going.

Social media –  Delete all your social media accounts and your email accounts. Delete absolutely everything. Destroy any hard drives that you leave behind. Bear in mind, deleting online accounts doesn’t actually get rid of anything. Once something is on the Net, it’s there forever. That said, you don’t want to make it easy for your hunters or have anything to show up on social media that allows someone else to tag you and thus expose you. Continue Reading →

Progress Report: Nostalgia City Mystery Series

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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 →

Feisty attorney dukes it out with the Mob

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Identity Crisis
Debbi Mack
Wild Blue Press
4th Edition Aug. 2015
Kindle $5.99  Trade paper $11.99

Attorney Sam McRae has a more than troublesome case.  Her missing client is accused of murder and implicated in a bank scandal.  Sam’s affair with a married prosecutor—who is likely not going to leave his wife—weighs on her often.  And as she tries to locate her missing client, she’s followed by a black Lincoln.  “Something about the design suggested a rolling black casket.”

Driving a beat-up Mustang convertible, Sam chases from Maryland to Pennsylvania to track down her client, shadowed by the Mob and worried that someone connected to the case is trying to steal her identity.  The engaging, fast-moving story readsidentity-crisis-debbi-mack like the PI novel that it is, even though the protagonist is an attorney.  Sam has more instinct, determination and guts than most male investigators, and she manages to stay one step ahead of the cops.

Sam meets a nosy neighbor with alcohol and garlic breath, a private eye who is either stalking her or there to save her, a woman with a scarred face and a “three-pack-a-day voice” and an upper-crust strip club owner with something to hide. Add in Mob figures made from equal parts menace and violence plus eccentric federal agents and you have an entertaining—and upsetting—cast of characters.

Finally, the story is decorated with lively language and descriptions: Continue Reading →

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