Long time member of San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime is proud to announce the latest in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries--A Snitch in Time.
The Inspiration for A Snitch In Time
I patterned my fictitious town of Burlap after a community in the Sierra Foothills of California. When I worked as secretary with the Fresno County narcotics team, my men patrolled the area. Manning the phones, I would receive allegations that seemed so crazy that I had to go explore the town for myself. I conned Kate Anderson to go with me and we brought along a bulky video camera.
While the people and plot are pure fiction, much of the setting is not. There really is a Buzzard Tree in the middle of the school playground, starving marijuana growers would come out of the National Forest to steal the children's lunches. The Turkey Testicle Festival does exist as an annual charity event. There is a fenceless prison where the inmates fight forest fires. The locals call us “Flatlanders” and we had some choice names for them as well. Many of the law enforcement characters are based on people I worked with. The opening scene may or may not be an urban legend.
I made Kate pose as a corpse in the strange cement sculptures we found by the side of the road. As I was video taping it, the local postal delivery person clomped up on horseback, watched us in silence, then road away.
I don't have the imagination to think up such things. Life is strange enough!
When sheriff's department office assistant Christy Bristol takes a long weekend to visit her friend, Lennie, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, it's not the vacation she anticipated. A murder has just occurred and Christy is conscripted by the homicide team to handle the reports. To add to her frustration, she gets in a fight with Lennie over her friend's arrogant boyfriend and has no place to stay. The detectives put her up in a forest ranger's cabin while he is away fighting fires.
As the body count grows it becomes apparent the killer is targeting undesirables in the town of Burlap. One of the victim's girlfriends calls Christy and accuses a deputy of the murders. Christy doesn't know whether to believe the snitch or not. Could a killer be hiding behind his badge?
The ranger returns to his cabin only to find he has a roommate. Things get a little too cozy, especially when Christy's boyfriend shows up unexpectedly. The solution? Solve the case before her life gets any more complicated. Using astrology, Christy casts a reverse horoscope to profile the killer but puts her own future at risk.
And time is running out.
Sunny Frazier trained as a journalist and wrote for a city newspaper, military and law enforcement publications. After working 17 years with the Fresno Sheriff's Department, 11 spent as Girl Friday with an undercover narcotics team, it dawned on her that mystery writing was her real calling. Both “Fools Rush In” and “Where Angels Fear” are based on actual cases with a bit of astrology, a habit Frazier has developed over the past 42 years.
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