Author Archives: James L'Etoile

Mystery Writers of America – Mystery Week

Mystery Writers of America is hosting a series of events featuring member authors during October. The Northern California Chapter, to which I proudly belong, is sponsoring an entire week with events in the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento. Please join me and NorCal MWA members, Robin Burcell, Lillian Bell (Eileen Rendahl), Catriona McPherson, and […]

Sacramento’s Other Forgotten Killer

Sacramento has proven to be a magnet for serial killers over the years. From Juan Corona, to Dorothea Puente, and The I-5 Strangler in between, the Golden State’s capitol city attracts more than it’s share of serial killers. As we’ve seen, there have been times when the work of one killer gets overlooked because of […]

Serial Killer Profile – Morris Solomon, The Sacramento Slayer

In this installment of the Serial Killer Profile series, we will dive on one of Sacramento’s “forgotten serial killers,” The Sacramento Slayer — Morris Solomon Jr. In any other city, Solomon’s killings would have captured national attention. However, the regional media was busy covering another serial killer, Dorothea Puente, who had been burying seven victims […]

Bouchercon 2018

It’s that time again–the annual pilgrimage to the worldwide mystery convention known as Bouchercon. The moveable Mecca of the mystery writing scene sets up its tents in St. Petersburg, Florida this year and it’s always a big draw bringing writers and avid readers together.   Last year’s convention in Toronto drew over 1,400 participants to […]

Serial Killer Profiles – the I-5 Strangler

Northern California killers have popped up in the headlines again with the announcement of new murder charges filed against Joseph Deangelo, Jr., the Golden State Killer and East Area Rapist. Sacramento District Attorney Ann-Marie Schubert also revealed this week that all of the murders attributed to DeAngelo will be prosecuted in Sacramento. The trial will […]

BURY THE PAST Earns a Killer Nashville Award Nomination

I’m honored to announce that BURY THE PAST has been nominated for the annual Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award as the best procedural mystery of 2017. The procedural mystery genre is a thriller and suspense story in which a professional protagonist (detective, journalist, attorney, physician) solves a crime, usually gruesome and with graphic detail. Subgenres […]

Top 10 Angry Editing Songs

I’ve run across several blogs and articles talking about the music writers like to have playing in the background while they work. Some refuse to listen to anything with lyrics because it’s distracting, while others need to have a specific musical artist speaking for the characters in the novel under construction. Music in the background […]

Crazy California Laws

You often hear the line, “We are a nation of laws,” and it’s usually associated with someone breaking one of those laws. But what is a law, really? I mean, sure, we know they are the boundary lines for living in a civilized society. Rules like, hey, don’t murder people, or don’t take shit that […]

Private Prisons in Crime Fiction

Build it and they shall come… Private prisons have been a popular recurring theme in crime fiction and television drama. Most of the stories I’ve come across involve some smoky backroom deal between a corrupt judge and a private prison operator. Newly sentenced offenders, often kids, are portrayed as victims who wouldn’t have come to […]

When Social Media Isn’t Very Social

Social media drives me nuts. Those who know me might argue that it’s a very short trip to that particular destination. Still, the wild and woolly web is a place that brings out the worst in people. And social media magnifies it to Hubble telescope proportions. Occasionally, I’ll post about an Old Guy’s Guide to […]