Nostalgia City Mysteries

Mark S. Bacon

Category Archives: New mystery book

Nostalgia City trivia quiz: music, Vietnam, Happy Days


Newly released Dark Ride Deception, like the previous novels in my series is based in Nostalgia City, a sprawling theme park that recreates an entire small town from the 1970s.

This latest book travels to Florida where Lyle uses a variety of false identities to investigate other theme parks and try to recover high-tech secrets stolen from Nostalgia City.  To maintain the park’s theme—and authenticity—I use news items, songs, product names and other touchstones of the 1970s.

In that spirit, here’s the second installment of my 1970s trivia quiz. Answers, of course, can be found on the pages of Nostalgia City mysteries.  But you’ll also find them on the next post here in your mailbox or at

(No fair looking these up on the internet.)


  1. In 1975 which automotive company introduced the Pacer, “the first wide, small car.”

a. Ford
b. American Motors
c. Plymouth
d. General Motors

2.  Which 1970s product was advertised as featuring “rich Corinthian leather”?

a. Lazy Boy recliners
b. Members-Only jackets
c. Chrysler Cordoba
d. Bloomingdale’s bell bottoms

3.  When did the US’s Vietnam War officially end?

a. 1969
b. 1975
c.  1978
d.  1972

4.  The song Evil Ways hit #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 the week of Mar. 21, 1970. Name the artist.

a. Fleetwood Mac
b. Dire Straits
c. Frank Zappa
d. Santana

5.  Who played The Fonz on the Happy Days TV series 1974-1984?

a. Henry Winkler
b. Scott Baio
c. Donny Osmond
d. Bill Bixby

6.  What beer advertised, “tastes great, less filling.”

a. Bud lite
b. Coors
c. Miller Lite
d. Hamm’s

7.  What novelty gift became a craze in the late 1970s and sold in the millions.

a. Chia Pets
b. Beanie Babies
c. Hula Hoop
d. Pokemon Go

8.  David Cassidy starred in what 1970s sitcom?

a. The Brady Bunch
b. Family Ties
c. All in the Family
d. The Partridge Family

9.  If your car had an eight-track, it meant it had,

a.  A  V-8 engine
b. Four-wheel drive
c. A tape player
d. GPS

10.  Which event did not take place in the 1970s?

a. The 55 MPH National Maximum Speed Law was enacted.
b. Girls were first permitted to play Little League baseball.
c. A terrorist bomb destroyed a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.
d. The Sting won the Oscar for best picture of the year.

11.  Midnight screenings of which motion picture helped make it a cult classic?

a. The French Connection
b. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
c. Zardoz
d. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

12.  Which baseball player surpassed Babe Ruth’s career home run record in 1974?

a. Mickey Mantle
b. Jackie Robinson
c. Hank Aaron
d. Reggie Jackson

Dark Ride Deception novel beats Disney to new ride


“Dark Ride Deception,” published in September, describes a technology that gives visitors a virtual reality experience—without goggles.  The Walt Disney Company received a patent for such technology three months later.

According to The Los Angeles Daily News, the Walt Disney Company was granted a patent on Dec. 28 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a technology that enables users to experience a 3D world without glasses, goggles or digital devices.

“Dark Ride Deception,” describes an advanced technology that is stolen from Nostalgia City, an Arizona theme park. The stolen secrets allow park guests to experience virtual reality without goggles.

VR Goggles no longer needed?

The Disney technology, according to the Daily News story, is called a Virtual World Simulator.  The stolen Nostalgia City tech is called the Perception Deception Effect.

Since my first Nostalgia City novel I’ve been following the development of amusement park attractions.  I never read anything about this new Disney technology, however; but it’s the next logical step in virtual reality.  Inventing the Perception Deception Effect just made sense.

In the book, a brilliant theme park engineer disappears, along with details of his ground-breaking technology—before the plans can be patented. Nostalgia City employee and ex-cop, Lyle Deming, is tasked with finding the missing engineer and recovering the secrets.

Critical details of the Perception Deception Effect are known only to the missing engineer, Tom Wyrick.  Deming speculates that Wyrick was either kidnapped or killed to obtain the secrets or that he plans to sell his inventions to the highest bidder.

“What’s he going to do,” Deming asks, “start his own theme park?”

When I wrote the book, I thought theme park rides needed to be bumped to a higher technological level.  Apparently, so did Disney.


Looking for the second half of Hitchcock’s Sabotage?

The first half of my review of the Hitchcock film had a bunch of words unnecessarily underlined in the email version. Distracting.  It doesn’t show up in the WordPress editor or in the web version of the story.

The second half of the review will be published soon.  And it will be linked to the online version of the first half. Stay tuned.

Writing right & kudos acknowledged & more

How to write good

Only occasionally do I write about the mechanics of writing here, but this decades-old advice is worth passing along. While going through old (paper) files recently I came upon something I’d copied off the web in the mid-1990s.

This is one of those less-than serious posts that have flourished in the online world since the Internet began. I wondered if this short article was still in online circulation. It is.  I offer an abbreviated version here of “How to Write Good,” attributed to Sally Bulford. Among the 22 “rules” for good writing, these are my favorites.

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Contractions aren’t necessary.

3. One should never generalize.

4. Comparisons are as bad a clichés.

5. Don’t be redundant by using more words than necessary; it’s extremely needless and also superfluous.

6. Be more or less specific.

7. Analogies in writing are like glue on an apostrophe.

8. The passive voice is to be avoided.

9. Exaggeration is a million times worse than understatement.

And while I’m passing along English advice, let me be serious for a moment.  I wish everyone would stop saying (or writing) “going forward.”  You can use it when you’re describing the direction your car is moving, but in almost all other instances it’s redundant and can be eliminated without changing the sense of the sentence. Think about it.

Dark Ride Deception named a favorite book

My latest mystery was just named to the list of Favorite Books of 2021 by Kings River Life Magazine. Here’s what they said:

Dark Ride Deception

A noirish look at industrial espionage and murder in the world of amusement parks. Lyle, an ex-cop, drives a cab at a 70s theme park and does some detective work for the boss. Kate, an ex-basketball player, is in charge of public relations. A severed finger in his cab and feuding actors filming a movie in the park set off a chain of mysterious events in this fast-moving quest for the truth

Terrorist bombs

Stay tuned.  The next article (post) on this website (& email) will be a look back at a terrorism on the screen.

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