The end of this week I’m headed to Lincoln City on the Oregon coast. Many years ago while at the Oregon coast on a writer’s retreat, I saw three things during a walk on the beach that had my mystery mind whirling.
The three unrelated things, what looked like a grandfather and grandson playing on the beach that was mostly empty, something that looked like a seal head or person in diving gear bobbing in the water not far from shore, and a boat that was also close to the shore.
Most people wouldn’t think much of these three things. But when I came back from my walk, the boat was gone and the grandfather was all alone. That had me wondering if that wasn’t really the grandfather, but a man who had lured the child to the beach in order for someone to kidnap him. The scuba diver and the boat waiting off shore.
And that is where the idea has sat for a number of years. Because I couldn’t figure out how to make it work in a book/series. Well, the time has come. My character Dela Alvaro of the Spotted Pony Casino mysteries is the perfect person to make a trip to the Oregon Coast. She will be visiting the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City to learn things with other security teams from Indian run casinos.
I can now let this story, that has been simmering in my head, play out in a book.
That is why I am headed to Lincoln City. To get a feel of the layout of the casino and hotel rooms. To walk the beach and see if I can set the scene I described above for someone staying at the casino to have witnessed and for Dela to come to that person’s aid when there is an attempt to steal their camera and later their life.
While I am headed to do research for the Spotted Pony Casino book, I am actually plotting out the next Gabriel Hawke book to be written after I write a short story for an anthology.
However, I won’t have time to do the research for “The Pinch” nearer to the time of writing it and that’s why I am headed over there now. I plan to have fun and get all the information I need.
My latest book in the Spotted Pony Casino Mystery series is available for pre-order.
Lies, deceit, blackmail.
Murder ends it all.
Or does it?
When an employee at the Spotted Pony Casino is caught leaving early, Dela Alvaro, head of security confronts the woman. The lies the woman tells only piques Dela’s curiosity. After witnessing the employee threatening a man, she is found murdered in her car parked in the driveway of her home.
Upon learning the woman used her job at the casino to blackmail men, Dela feels compelled to solve the woman’s murder and teams up with Tribal Officer Heath Seaver. Not only does the duo have a death to solve, but there is also a mystery behind Dela’s dead father. Not to mention, her mom just announced she’s marrying a man Dela has never met.