I live in Orange County, California and there is always a ready supply of current events to draw upon when writing my mysteries. As a couple of examples: I knew a young woman who lived across the street from me who was later murdered by "The Bedroom Basher". I also knew a teenage hood who liked to hang around with me who later turned into the notorious "Hammer-Murderer." Both of these characters show up in my writing (with their names changed, of course).
Murder at the Abbey: A Detective Santy Mystery takes place in Orange County and draws upon current events. St. Michael's Abbey--where the priest in the book is murdered--is embroiled in a running battle with environmentalists and anti-development groups because the abbey has just purchased land to expand their facilities and environmentalists believe that if the abbey's plans go through, it will threaten the habitat of a endangered toad. The Catholic Church got into further hot water when it purchased the famous "Crystal Cathedral" and removed some commemorative stones that donors had earlier purchased for their loved ones, with the reassurance from the former pastor that they'd always be there. With so many people mad at the abbey and the church, it's easy to imagine that some unhinged person might resort to murder--perfect fodder for a mystery writer.
Murder at the Abbey: A Detective Santy Mystery
by Louise Hathaway
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