Posts tagged "mystery"

Bosch - Pleasantly Surprised

I’ve never been a real fan of books turned into movies or television shows. I’ve been disappointed too many times. If one of my favorite books or series gets picked up by Hollywood, I get excited at first. Then the realization hits. The actors are never what I pictured in my head (i.e. Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher or Matthew McConaughey as Micky Haller). Stories are changed or back stories sliced or worse, endings are revamped (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). I’m not saying I didn’t like these movies. After all, the stories and characters are some of my favorites. It’s just not what I had pictured in my head and can be a bit of a letdown.

That was until BOSCH. I was skeptical at first. After all Michael Connelly’s books have been made into movies before with some disappointment (Blood Work, The Lincoln Lawyer). And Harry Bosch is one of the best characters in the mystery genre today. As the pilot was being produced by Amazon, I could see the series going either way. With Amazon producing, who knows what kind of budget or changes could be made. Yet Michael Connelly was directly involved along the way focusing the look and feel.

So I was hopeful when I watched the pilot episode (available for free on I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I was thrilled with their choice of Titus Welliver as Bosch and the supporting characters. The setting and cinematography was perfect and the storyline was gripping. I was so impressed that I actually purchased Amazon Prime so I can watch the rest of the season.

If you’re a fan of Michael Connelly, I think you will enjoy the series. Let me know what you think…

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Greatest Mystery of Our Time?

With the disappearance of flight MH370, experts are scratching their heads. As we stretch into day 11 of the missing Boeing 777 with no clear answers, conspiracy theories are running wild. Was it a high jacking? Was it an accident? Is the plane safely landed or at the bottom of the Indian Ocean? Was it aliens? We are still no closer to answering the mystery and I’m starting to wonder if the mystery will ever be solved.

There have been other mysteries never solved. Who was Jack the Ripper? Is there a Lock Ness Monster? And what about Big Foot? What happened to the Zodiac Killer?  Who killed the Black Dahlia? Why was Stonehedge created? Will anyone crack the Kryptos code? Where is Jimmy Hoffa? Who was DB Cooper and what happened to the money? There are hopes that someday these mysteries will be solved, but the likelihood gets smaller as time marches on.

The families of those on board Malaysia flight 370 are waiting for answers. Hopefully this mystery will be solved in the coming days as the search continues in 11 countries.

Or will Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 become the greatest mystery of our time?

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Serial Killer Stalking Virginia

Nancy Dunning, a real estate agent and wife of then-Sheriff James Dunning, was shot and killed in her Alexandria home in 2004. For several years, her husband was a suspect in his wife’s death, and had not been ruled out as a suspect at the time of his death in 2012.

Last November, Ronald Kirby, a city transportation planner was killed in broad daylight in his Alexandria home. He was shot after presenting himself at the front door.

Last month a man approached the Alexandria home of music teacher, Ruthanne Lodato. When she opened the door she was shot and killed. The man also wounded her caretaker.

All three killings took place around noon and within a two mile radius of each other.

Police have now linked these three killings through forensic investigation. Bullet fragments have been compared in all three cases and found to be similar. With this third victim, police are now investigating whether there is a serial killer in the area. At this time, only the gun has been linked to all three killings, but the timing and location suggests a serial killer. No common motive has been found.

Police say they are looking for an older, white male with gray hair and a full beard. Police have released a sketch of the suspect in Lodato’s murder and are asking for the public’s help. The FBI is also assisting officers field leads.

Book Trailer for CHASING DEMONS by Melissa M. Garcia.

Created by Haley Kamola

For more information on CHASING DEMONS visit

Happy New Year - Free Autographed Book Offer

To celebrate the start of 2014, I am offering a free autographed copy of STRANGER: A DEATH VALLEY MYSTERY to all my followers. If you would like a personally signed paperback copy mailed to you, please send your name and address to


Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

Please note your information will NOT be sold or given out to anyone. Offer expires 1/31/14.

Unplanned Entry?

The Interim Los Angeles Coroner Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran has released an update to the Natalie Wood case.Coroner: New Questions in Natalie Wood Drowning Death

Natalie Wood, a child actress who grew up in the Hollywood system and then married actor Robert Wagner, died in 1981 under mysterious conditions. While boating with her husband and his friend, Christopher Walken, and consuming large amounts of alcohol, Woods disappeared. When Mr. Wagner realized his wife was missing, he radioed for help and a search began. The LA County Life Guards pulled her from the water hours later.

Upon investigation, it appeared she had climbed out of the yacht after an argument with her husband and boarded a dinghy perhaps to go ashore. The case was closed as a probable drowning.

In the new report, the LA coroner has revised the cause of death to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”

The report states it is unable to “exclude non-volitional, unplanned entry into the water.” This could include falling in accidentally or worse, being forced into the water.

The mystery continues.

Click here for entire report.

Featured Mystery Authors Suggest Titles

Barnes & Noble asked some of the most popular Mystery Authors what titles they would suggest to new readers in the genre. Here are their suggestions. How many have you read?

Click the links for full list of suggested novels.

Michael Connelly - Suggests novels spanning from Robert Crais to Harper Lee

Robert Crais - Suggests novels from mystery superstar Michael Connelly and legend Raymond Chandler

Sue Grafton - Suggests novels from spanning from John le Carre to James M. Cain

Lisa Scottoline - Suggests novels from thriller writer David Baldacci to mystery superstar Sandra Brown.

What would you suggest to a new mystery reader?

STRANGER Book Club Questions

1. Stranger takes place in Death Valley in the middle of the hot summer. What is your opinion of Death Valley? Did your image of Death Valley change after reading the novel? What do the characters in the novel feel about it?

2. During his interview with a possible witness, Detective Will Stellar tells Alex Delgado she has issues with control. Discuss other instances in the novel where Alex displays a problem with controlling herself. Discuss the ways in which Alex tries to gain control in these situations.

3. Ric Delgado often refers to other people by a nickname, such as calling Detective Stellar “Cowboy.” When referring to the computer store clerk, he explains he forgot the boy’s name. In another instance he calls his longtime partner, Detective Dade by the name of “Judas.” Why do you think Ric uses nicknames for the other characters?

4. Ric Delgado admits having doubts about what he would have done if Alex had called him instead of Detective Dade the night she shot Davey. Ric believes Detective Stellar will save his brother instead of arresting him when confronted with the truth. Do you think Ric’s opinion of Detective Stellar will change knowing Stellar arrested his brother instead of protect him?

5. Detective Dade and Ric Delgado have a tenuous relationship at the end of the novel. Do you think they will remain friends or will they throw away their past partnership and move on? Do you think Detective Dade will check up on the Delgados?

6. Will Stellar’s relationship with Erika is much like a roller coaster. Do you think their relationship will be able to move past her infidelity with his brother? Do you think they will ever come to an agreement regarding their future?

7. Do you think Alex and Ric grew closer together or further apart by the end of the novel? Do you think they will stay in Lake City?

8. What did you find to be most compelling about Stranger — the action scenes, the characters, the setting, the dialogue, or something else entirely? Why?

9. A red herring is defined as something that draws attention away from the central issue. In crime fiction, a red herring is often put there to fool or distract you. Were you fooled by anything in Stranger? Were you surprised by the killer’s identity?

10. Are you satisfied with how the book ends? Would you have preferred another ending? Where do you think the series will go from here?

reposted from an earlier blog.


There is a dead body in room 110 of the Death Valley Motel, and the evidence points to murder. Managers Ric and Alex Delgado, siblings with police work in their blood, chose this small Death Valley city specifically because it appeared to be a quiet place in which Alex could heal from the violent traumas of her past. Now a killer has struck too close to Alex, opening old wounds and threatening her new life.

The situation gets more complicated when Detective Will Stellar trains his observant eye on the siblings and ascertains they have something to hide. Murder seems to follow Alex Delgado, and Detective Stellar is certain she is a dangerous woman. Racing against time and against each other, the Delgados and Detective Stellar risk their lives to uncover the truth, which is ever more complicated and dangerous than any of them have imagined.

FALLING ANGELS Book Club Questions

1.  What is your view of Luc Actar? What motivates him to find out more about Spencer’s disappearance?

2.  Discuss the other characters’ motivations for their actions, both the “villains” and “heroes” in the story, including Mattie Hardwin, Spencer Hardwin, Detective Ward, and John Carliss.

3.  What did you find to be most compelling about Falling Angels — the action scenes, the characters, the setting, the dialogue, or something else entirely?

4.  “A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry, but money answereth all things.” Discuss how food, alcohol, and money tie into the theme of salvation in Falling Angels.

5.  Luc explains that he was able to escape his life on the streets by stealing. He tells Detective Ward that crime still pays for some people. Do you believe this was Luc’s only way out?

6.  Luc and Mattie are from separate financial spectrums. Why do you think they became friends? What keeps them together?

7.  As a child Luc ignores Mattie’s hints at rebellion. Why do you think he refuses to see her as anything other than an angel?

8.  A red herring is defined as something that draws attention away from the central issue. In crime fiction, a red herring is often put there to fool or distract you. Were you fooled by anything in Falling Angels? Were you surprised by the killer’s identity?

9.  The novel contains many flashbacks to when Luc and Mattie are younger. Do you feel these flashbacks helped the story or help you better understand their personalities or did they hinder the flow of the mystery?

10.  Are you satisfied with how the book ends? Would you have preferred another ending? Do you think Luc and Mattie would be satisfied with a ‘happily-ever-after’ ending?

reposted from an earlier blog.

About Falling Angels:

After a panicked call from his best friend, Mattie Hardwin, Luc Actar must return to Los Angeles and the life he fled three years earlier. Mattie’s husband, a prestigious lawyer named Spencer Hardwin, has mysteriously disappeared. Desperate for assistance, Luc enlists the help of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in his search to find Spencer, despite his better judgment. But he soon learns that the detectives have their own reasons for locating Spencer—the lawyer has become the prime suspect in a drug dealer’s brutal murder.

As he hunts for the man he thought he knew, Luc’s history with Mattie haunts his dreams and drives him to the depths of the misery he once escaped. Back on the streets of Los Angeles, Luc employs old friends and encounters childhood rivals to take on the sheriff’s department, while a slew of lawyers impede his every move to save those closest to him from an unknown killer.

FALLING ANGELS is the first in the Luc Actar crime series by Melissa M. Garcia.


Yes, the sequel to FALLING ANGELS is on it’s way. I’ve promised you all and I swear it’s close. But it’s like my child. I watched it grow up from just a small baby of an idea and now it’s blossomed into a full-length crime novel. I want to share CHASING DEMONS with all of you, but I’m nervous. Is it ready to be out in the world? It recently left for about two months and spent some time with my editor, but it’s back for one last review and I’m hesitant to let it out of my sight again. But alas, I know I must let it go. So, as it leaves me today to get formatted for publishing, I will tease you with the summary. 


Journalist and ex-car thief, Luc Actar has finally decided to settle down. He’s traded in his life of crime for the life he’s always wanted. He’s moved in with his recently-divorced girlfriend, Mattie Hardwin in her large Malibu home overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He’s back at work at the Crime Reporterinvestigating stories of corruption and abuse by the political and legal authorities of Los Angeles County.  

When detectives arrive to inform Luc of the death of his father, Luc is hesitant to get involved. But once he discovers a powerful leader in the mental health industry is pulling the strings in his father’s investigation, Luc is determined to take him down. As he chases the demons of his past, Luc unknowingly steps right into the crosshairs of a killer determined to keep his own life from falling apart.


Born in La Mirada, California, Melissa M. Garcia (@MelissaM_Garcia) has lived most of her life in the sometimes gritty, always entertaining, and ever-changing landscape that is Southern California. She graduated from California State University in Long Beach with a degree in English/Literature. Melissa is the author of the Luc Actar crime series (including FALLING ANGELS and CHASING DEMONS) and the Death Valley Mystery series (STRANGER: A DEATH VALLEY MYSTERY). Melissa recently released an e-book collection, Faith Departed: Short Stories of Mystery, Crime, and Despair. Melissa is also the author of the online blog, “Musings from a Crime Writer.” Her novels are available in paperback and e-book formats. She currently lives with her husband in Southern California and is at work on the next Death Valley Mystery.

Missing for 2,000 Days

Retired FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran 2,000 days ago.  Levinson, who became a private investigator after retiring from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was working on a cigarette smuggling case when he disappeared more than five years ago while on a business trip on Iran’s Kish island on March 8, 2007.  A proof of life was provided in 2010 where Levinson asks the US Government for help.

The FBI has offered a reward of $1 million for information leading to Levinson’s safe return, but no new leads on who is holding him or what they want. The US continues to put pressure on Iran for information on Levinson’s whereabouts.

Born in La Mirada, California, Melissa M. Garcia has lived most of her life in the sometimes gritty, but always entertaining landscape that is Southern California. She graduated from California State University in Long Beach with a degree in English/Literature. Garcia is the author of the Luc Actar crime series (including Falling Angels and Chasing Demons) and the Death Valley Mystery series (Stranger: A Death Valley Mystery). She has also published an e-book collection, Faith Departed: Short Stories of Mystery, Crime, and Despair.

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