The Accidental Detective humorous mystery series: A witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty.
Book 6: Someone Rotten Riding the Rails
Kate’s ready to blow the whistle on these crime families . . .
Former war correspondent Kate Tessler has solved multiple murders since returning to her childhood home in Arizona to heal after a bombing injury. Now Detective Padilla approaches Kate with a proposal: Two Russian mob families have arranged the marriage of their children and hired a scenic railroad for the wedding. The FBI wants eyes and ears on that train, but anyone who infiltrates the wedding must be above suspicion.
An Arizona newspaper will send Kate on assignment to cover the wedding, with Kate’s sister Jen posing as her photographer. Meanwhile, tech genius Mackenzie will oversee the dining car, while the seniors who make up the “Coffee Shop Irregulars” will pose as the passenger services agents who work each car.
Kate and her eccentric sidekicks are only supposed to observe and record anything suspicious, but that plan is quickly derailed. The groom disappears – from the moving train – and a search turns up a dead body but not the missing groom. The mob families aren’t about to call in the police, so it’s up to Kate and friends to uncover the truth before their whole mission goes off the tracks.
This story has roots decades in the past. When I was in my twenties, my parents moved to Saudi Arabia, where my father worked as an economist for an oil company. My brother and I joined my parents in various places for the winter holidays. One year that was Egypt as part of a tour group of Americans living in Saudi Arabia. We took a boat down the Nile for several days, stopping at various places to tour archaeology sites. Many people in the group already knew each other, and we quickly got to know them.
Which of course turned my mind to murder. Okay, that group was a lot of fun, but writers generally have a muse – or maybe it’s a little devil – whispering in their ear, “What if…?”
What if someone was murdered on about traveling down the Nile? No, what if someone disappeared from a boat in the river? How would that happen and why and who would be the suspects?
I never wrote a book set on a Nile river boat, but I did come across my notes while pondering my next Accidental Detective story. Arizona doesn’t have a lot of large bodies of water, of course. The only riverboat tour I know of, the Dolly Steamboat, has lake tours of about three hours, but I wasn’t sure how I’d make that work.
Arizona does have the Grand Canyon Scenic Railway, and wouldn’t that be a fun setting for a mystery?
My editor commented, “What a cool idea paying homage to Murder on the Orient Express and yet in Arizona.” But honestly, that hadn’t occurred to me! And I haven’t ever read Death on the Nile either, so while this might seem like an Agatha Christie homage, it wasn’t intended that way.
In any case, I had a ton of fun researching this story. My husband and I took the train from Williams, Arizona as a daytrip with three hours at the Grand Canyon rim. I grabbed our car’s passenger services agent, Craig, and asked questions such as “What would you do if a group claimed one of their party was missing?” and “Where could someone hide a body on the train?” He was a big help and didn’t even report me to any authorities!
Writing the novel was fun too, and I hope readers will enjoy it just as much.
Learn more or purchase The Accidental Detective humorous mystery series.
About the Author.
Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. In the Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty. This humorous series starts with Something Shady at Sunshine Haven. Find The Accidental Detective Series in ebook or print on Amazon US, Amazon UK, or at Tule Publishing with links to all retailers.
Kris’s Accidental Billionaire Cowboys series follows a Texas ranching family that wins a billion-dollar lottery. Who wouldn’t want to be a billionaire? Turns out winning the lottery causes as many problems as it solves. The Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Learn more at www.krisbock.com. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter to get a free Accidental Detective mystery story, a free cat café novella, and more.
Kris also writes a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The Felony Melanie series follows the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for the romantic comedy newsletter to get a short story preview, or find the books at Amazon US or All E-book retailers.
Find Kris: Website
Photo one: The Grand Canyon Scenic Railway at the depot.
Photo two: View from the train window.
Photo three: Kris Bock on the train with her husband.
Photo four: Passenger Services agent Craig and a singing cowboy entertainer.
Photo five: The “Sheriff” after the train is “robbed by bandits.”