Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Tag Archives: Kate Sorensen

Desert Kill Switch wins fiction award

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Desert Kill Switch just received the first prize for fiction in the 2018 Great Southwest Book Festival.  An awards dinner will be held in April to honor the winners of the competition.

The book is set in the fictional central Arizona county of San Navarro, in Las Vegas and in Reno, Nevada.  It begins with a body, found in the Arizona desert, that disappears once sheriff’s deputies get to the scene.  While the desert murder remains a mystery, the story moves from Arizona to Nevada.  Protagonists Kate Sorensen and Lyle Deming travel from Reno to Las Vegas and back to Reno searching for the person who murdered Vegas car dealer Alvin Busick. 

Sorensen is accused of Busick’s murder and must find the killer before the police find her.

The book is the second in the Nostalgia City Mystery Series that takes place in Nostalgia City, a  theme park that re-creates an entire small town from the mid-1970s.  The third book in the series, The Marijuana Murders, will be published soon by Black Opal Books.

Desert Kill Switch was also nominated for a Top Shelf Magazine Indie Award for books from small publishers.

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 thinks of his relationship to his father as generating 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?

     

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