Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Halloween Mystery

It was the week before Halloween, shortly after I'd moved into a new apartment. I went for a walk in the neighborhood and spotted an old Victorian. I've always loved old houses so I stopped, gazing up at it. And I wondered what those walls would say if they could talk.

Intrigued, I wanted to find out more about the house and the area so I went to the Cincinnati Historical Society and immersed myself in research. The more I learned, the more certain I was that I wanted to write a mystery novel that took place there. 
I continued to take walks in the neighborhood, always with my camera. Little by little, I began to come up with plot ideas and the characters who would live in my fictional version of the house.

So, that's how I came to write Mixed Messages, my first Malone mystery. Proof that you never know where an idea for a book (or a series) will come from.
Happy Halloween!
Amazon author's page:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October News: When Fiction Mirrors Real Life

In 1965-1966, my main interests were boys, learning how to drive and school, pretty much in that order. So I paid little attention to the news, never realizing how what was going on then in my city would mirror the novel I would write many years later.

You see, after my first Malone mystery was published, I learned something that actually gave me chills. From October 1965 to December 1966, a man attacked, raped and murdered seven Cincinnati women. He strangled them, using either an article of their own clothing or something that was readily available to him. With one exception, the women were attacked in their homes. The media dubbed him “The Cincinnati Strangler.”

The Cincinnati Police apprehended Posteal Laskey, a cab driver, after the last attack. He was arrested and convicted of the seventh murder. He never confessed to having committed any of the crimes but the attacks stopped when he was taken into custody. He died in prison in 2007.

If you’ve read Mixed Messages, much about The Cincinnati Strangler will sound familiar to you. Although I didn’t know about the real life case when I wrote my novel, there are so many similarities between what I wrote and what actually happened. Hence, the chills!

In the book, The Westwood Strangler attacks women in their homes and he uses whatever is at hand to strangle them – just like The Cincinnati Strangler. The Westwood Strangler is on the loose in a neighborhood on the west side of Cincinnati. All of The Cincinnati Strangler's victims were attacked within a few miles of Westwood. 
Without giving away my plot for those of you who haven’t read Unfinished Business, the sequel to Mixed Messages, I’ll let you in on a secret: the total number of victims for The Cincinnati Strangler and The Westwood Strangler is exactly the same!

Was it merely a coincidence that what I wrote all those years later so strongly paralleled what really happened? Or, even though I didn’t consciously remember the news stories, did my subconscious retain bits and pieces for all those years? I guess we’ll never know. 

Book trailer:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Please welcome author George M. Nagle

I'm pleased to have author George M. Nagle, a fellow member of Mystery Authors International, visiting this week. Welcome, George! Please tell us about yourself and your new novel.

The Life We Lead: Ascending is just the first in a series of what should be three books. At 425 pages, it is the shortest of the series and really the introduction to James, the group, Carissa and a whole cast of others.  The Life We Lead follows the life of James, the main character as he battles criminal syndicates while trying to have a normal life.  It is inspired by real life events, however, names, places, timelines and such have all been altered.  This story has been 25 years in the making and certainly won’t disappoint with an incredible ending to the series.  This series is based in reality of spying so the far fetched gadgets and such like those found in James Bond won’t be appearing. It is a spy novel has lots of twists in turns that can make you laugh, cry, feel the characters outrage and even love.  The subtitle to the book is a clue to why it ends where it does too.

The DEA, FBI, and CIA have failed for years to bring down the Spara family, who control the world’s largest drug cartel. A secret society of spies whose members are under the age of 25 will try to succeed where the government has failed.
At only 21 years old, James is the most skillful member of this society. His new target is the Spara family. Through their relationship with Russia, the Sparas are the largest distributor of heroin in the world.  While beginning his investigation in Russia, James inadvertently saves the life of a former KBG officer who has a connection to the Tan family. This connection leads James farther into the heart of the criminal cartel.  However, the Tans have a dark secret of their own, which could jeopardize James's perfect record and his tenure as a spy as he struggles to do what is right while protecting his family, friends and the love of his life.

Excerpt from The Life We Lead: Ascending, Chapter 03
[context:  James and Daen capture Nikolias after Petior has been abducted.]

“You are our prisoner, but you are a captive of whatever group you…” Daen began, but Nikolias cut him off.
“What makes you think I want to leave?” growled Nikolias.
“When you help us, your bosses will not be too happy with you. You and your cousin will need to leave to survive,” replied Daen.
“So he says,” Nikolias said curtly, with a head gesture towards James.
“What did he say? Why did he just do that?” asked James. 
“Sounds like he doesn’t feel the need for our help. It seems he doesn’t want to, or have a reason to leave,” Daen replied, a puzzled look on his face.
“I am no traitor, and I will die to help our fraternity and country. I am loyal and believe in things, unlike you American dogs,” Nikolias stated in English.
James bowed his head, closed his eyes, and rubbed his left temple for a moment with his left hand. He dragged it down his face before speaking again.
“Okay, tell us what the fraternity’s cause is. What’s so special about it that you’re willing to risk your life, your cousin’s life, because someone felt I disrespected them near a train?” asked James.
Nikolias laughed. “We know you’re looking for drugs. You feel drugs are not disrespectful and destroying. You think we do not know that is why you are here? We see you peoples, and how you treat us. You all deserve death for your exploits on us, and our children.”

Author George M. Nagle
George is the 3rd of 6 children and grew up in western Pennsylvania. He earned his BS in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, his MSc in Biology and his MBA in Marketing and Management from Duquesne University. He is also a Master 5th degree black belt in the art of Taekwondo with Young Brothers in Pittsburgh. He currently in a global marketing and strategy professional in science industries. He also has one son, Matthew.
You can visit George at: