The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


            There are currently two Roger and Suzanne novels at the Work in Progress stage.   The first book, still untitled (but there’s a strong nominee for the honor), brings our two detectives to Alaska’s Denali National Park, a 6 million acre chunk of unspoiled wilderness capped by the highest mountain in North America.  If they’re going to leave South America, I reasoned, why not take them as far away as possible?  And, on top of that, Elaine and I had taken a vacation to Denali (and elsewhere in Alaska) a year or two ago in preparation for this book.

            The novel begins, as many of the Roger and Suzanne series does, with a brutal murder, this one in the National Park.  The victims, who we had met previously as supporting characters in “The Surreal Killer”, were close friends of one of our series regulars, Vincent Romero, Roger’s partner in his private detective agency in Los Angeles since “The Deadly Dog Show”.  Vincent asks Roger to investigate the death of his friends, and we‘re off for our usual mix of travel, tourism, and murder that are the trademarks of this mystery series.  The novel is complete, currently going through its third round of edits, and may be ready for publication as soon as the end of this month.   If anyone wants to volunteer to write a review for the book page on Amazon, I’ll be happy to send you a pre-publication copy to read as soon as the current round of edits (by Elaine and me) is complete.  Just e-mail me or message me on Facebook with your e-mail address if you’re interested. 
            The other Work in Progress is a novel set against the backdrop of canine hunt tests, where pointing breeds and setters can demonstrate their mastery of the skills necessary to be a well trained, useful bird dog hunting upland game like pheasants and chukars in the field.  Elaine wanted me to write this one to celebrate our involvement in this sport with our four German Shorthaired Pointers.  There are several chapters written, plus several scenes for additional chapters.   I think I have a good handle on the plot and a good idea where the story is going.  I have hopes for this novel to be available by Easter, perhaps sooner.

            This novel required some research.  I’m familiar with many of the Northern California venues for hunt tests, including the largest and most popular at Hastings Island.  But Roger and Suzanne live in Los Angeles, so I had to figure out where they’d go for hunt tests and bird dog training.  I think I’ve found the perfect venue for both hunting and murder about a 1-hour drive from their house in Beverly Hills.  It’s based on a real place, used for hunt tests and dog training, east of them near the city of Chino.  I’ve also found lists of actual hunt test venues in Southern California for 2014-2015.  So our detectives, accompanied by their son Robert’s Nanny and the Bowman’s resident dog trainer Bruce, will get to see some of the sights of SoCal, as the locals call the region. 

            Our sons Matthew and Michael both went to UC San Diego for college, and Matt lived in San Diego for several years.  So Elaine and I know San Diego and La Jolla pretty well. We’ve visited Los Angeles often, and I’ve spent some time in Riverside.  I also lived in Pasadena for a couple of years when I was a kid.   Maybe we can share some of the places we’ve seen and visited with readers in this new novel.

            Well, this novel-to-be is a work in process in the most literal sense of the words.   I don’t really know where the story is going beyond the first several chapters yet.  Who knows? Maybe there’ll be an update in a few months.

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