An Equal Opportunity Death
I have a friend who was a utility meter reader in the Russian River area, an hour or so north of San Francisco. We were walking beside the Russian River one afternoon when she said, "The company is strict about sick days. If you take the day off you better not be spotted on the street looking not-sick." I thought: And if someone was murdered, you would have no alibi.
I created the town of Henderson. But the meter reader lore comes largely from tales out of the trenches. In the country, the meter reader goes up on your porch or under it, around your garage, into your backyard, and no one questions it. She's a natural for a detective.
The San Francisco Chronicle called Vejay Haskell: "Intelligent, unpretentious, efficient and very, very likeable."
The Bohemian Connection
One week a year in the laid-back Russian River area, the Bohemian Grove attracts wealthiest and most powerful, generally conservative men—only men—nationwide to encampments with their gourmet cooks, skits and other secret events. To the nearby town, it attracts hookers and amusement. As one of my friends put it, "You can tell the hookers from us because they're not wearing Birkenstocks." This, in the midst of marijuana country. Ah, the possibilities!
The Last Annual Slugfest
There actually was an annual slugfest in the town of Guerneville, centered on slugs. It consisted of the slug race, a leisurely event; the prize for the largest slug, and the bake-off. Judges, generally local officials or dignitaries who felt it necessary to make amends, tasted the entrees. They were required to take not one, but two bites of each. The year I went the winning entrée was slug dogs—slugs in hotdog buns. No amount of mustard... Few events so make one consider murder.
There are questions raised in An Equal Opportunity Death that are answered in this book.