One inoffensive Drunkard – So many reasons to Kill Him
Everything you ever wanted to know about book five in the Old Los Angeles series, Death of the Drunkard. It runs approximately 300 pages long, and costs $15.99 in paperback, and $3.99 in ebook at the below fine retailers.
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Synopsis of the Story
A bold shooting ends the life of Mr. Hewitt, the buggy manufacturer on a cold night in December, 1872. Physician and winemaker Maddie Wilcox is particularly puzzled, since it was clear that Mr. Hewitt was soon to die of his own dissipation. Nonetheless, she is drawn into searching out his killer by the grieving widow.
Maddie soon finds out that there were several people who might have been offended by Mr. Hewitt, including those hoping to bring the Southern Pacific railroad to Los Angeles. As Maddie battles the usual winter colds and her own homesickness, the local men begin vying for her affections. Soon, Maddie realizes that she is searching for a killer determined to win the prize, no matter what the cost.
How I wrote Death of the Drunkard
I’ll confess that when I started Death of the Drunkard, I did not have much of the plot planned. I did not have much of a plot at all, to be honest. But once again, the Los Angeles Daily Star came to my rescue. It was the local newspaper in the pueblo at the time. While part of the fun is trying to interpret the reporting (which was hardly unbiased), I always find many of the goings on in the pueblo to wonderfully inspirational.
For example, the arrival of the Southern Pacific. I knew the railroad was on its way, but didn’t when and exactly how. The company had bought the Banning railroad line, which ran from the center of the pueblo to what later became the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro/Wilmington in the spring/summer of 1872. The newspaper gave me a chance to get really into the weeds on what was going on, and then to have some real fun with it.
A lighter story…
Yeah, I wrote fun. Because Death of the Drunkard takes place during the month of December, it’s a little lighter than some of the other books in the series. Okay – fair warning – I killed a horse in this one. I’m sorry about that, but the incident that causes that to happen, well, it was as pretty common occurrence back then. And still happens when a horse breaks its leg. But other than that, there is more humor in this one than the others as Maddie is sorely tried, thanks to the railroad coming in.