Sunday, October 01, 2017

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Mark S. Bacon

We are delighted to welcome back author Mark S. Bacon to Omnimystery News today.

Mark's second mystery in his "Nostalgia City" series is Desert Kill Switch (Black Opal Books; September 2017 trade paperback and ebook formats) and he recently caught up with Lyle Deming, one of the two lead characters in the series to talk more about the books.

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Mark S. Bacon
Photo provided courtesy of
Mark S. Bacon

Q. Anxiety seems to be your defining character. Is that a true statement?

Lyle: It was, sorry to say, but not now.

Q. Tell us about it.

Lyle: It’s no secret I used to be a homicide detective—a sergeant with the Phoenix PD. As part of my job I talked to families of people who had been murdered. Now granted sometimes a husband or other family member was responsible for the killing, but mostly I dealt with grief. And sorrow, and loss. Some people react differently but there are commonalities. They disbelieve it at first, look for answers. After so many years, I was getting burned out and so frustrated that I couldn’t help the people left behind except with clichés and referrals to social agencies.

Q. Didn’t you solve many of the murders?

Lyle: Yes, but that doesn’t really help the survivors, does it? Closure, people call it. Overrated. If someone wacked your daughter, does it really make you feel better if I arrest the son of a bitch?

Q. So you left the department?

Lyle: Sort of. More like booted out. Two senior detectives had it in for me. That’s enough said for now. The whole story’s in Death in Nostalgia City, Bacon’s first mystery he wrote me into. I’ll say this, everyone said I was crazy and talked to myself. They were half right.

Q. I can see how working on murder cases for years could generate anxiety. How do you generally deal with stress? Any suggestions?

Lyle: Well, I quit my job—or let them fire me.

Q. Anything else?

Lyle: Yeah. I run. Lots of people run for exercise. I run to clear my head and body of crap. Running releases endorphins. Gives you a boost.

Q. Is that effective for you?

Lyle: Yes. Running and gin and tonics work every time. By the way, what are you going to do with these answers?

Q. When you were a Phoenix cop did you have anything to do with the Joe Arpaio?

Lyle: No, not all. I worked for the Phoenix PD. Arpaio was Maricopa County sheriff. Different jurisdiction.

Q. Speaking of sheriffs, at one point in the new novel Desert Kill Switch, San Navarro County Sheriff Jeb Wisniewski tells you and Kate Sorensen, “You kinda attract trouble, don’t you?” How do you respond to that?

Lyle: More like it got dropped in our laps. I found this great stress-free job driving a cab in a theme park. What could be calmer, cooler than that? Then bodies showed up and someone was trying to destroy the park—or something. I couldn’t find peace around here, so I volunteered to help. Really I got volunteered.

Q. You have Kate Sorensen helping you, right?

Lyle: Yes, she’s a big help. Really big.

Q. Yes?

Lyle: That’s a joke. The blonde bombshell—as my friend Marko calls her—is 6-3.

Q. And is she a bombshell?

Lyle: I’m busy on this case. Ask me later.

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Mark Bacon's articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Kansas City Star, Denver Post, USAir Magazine, Trailer Life, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Antonio Express-News, The Orange County Register, Working Woman, and other publications. He is a former columnist for BusinessWeek Online and most recently was a regular correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, where he wrote on travel, outdoors and entertainment.

Bacon is a former president of the Orange County Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. He and his wife, Anne, and their golden retriever, Willow, live in Reno, Nevada.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at BaconsMysteries.com and his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Desert Kill Switch by Mark S. Bacon

Desert Kill Switch by Mark S. Bacon

A Nostalgia City Mystery

Publisher: Black Opal Books

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)Kobo eBook Format

A deadly Vegas pursuit—with a twist…

On an empty desert road, stressed-out ex-cop Lyle Deming finds a bullet-riddled body next to a vintage mint-condition 1970s Pontiac Firebird. When he returns to the scene with sheriff's deputies: no car, no body. Does the answer lie in Nostalgia City, the retro theme park where Lyle works?

Nostalgia City VP Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star, is in Reno, Nevada, on park business when she gets mixed up with a sleazy Las Vegas auto dealer who puts hidden "kill switches" and GPS trackers into the cars he sells to low-income buyers. Miss a payment — sometimes by as little as a few days — and your car is dead. Maybe you are, too.

When Kate's accused of murder in Reno, Lyle rushes to help his blonde not-quite-girlfriend. Kate and Lyle plow through a deadly tangle of suspects and motives, hitting one dead end after another, as they struggle to exonerate Kate, catch a blackmailer, save a witness's life, and find the missing car and corpse.

Desert Kill Switch by Mark S. Bacon

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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