Dark Mysteries Shine In Las Vegas Neon Lights

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Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

By Katherine Sharma

Last week I took relatives visiting from abroad to Las Vegas–because foreign tourists see its neon-magicked, cigarette-and alcohol-hazed glamorization of fantasy and vice as a top American entertainment experience.

history of vegasThe glitz of Sin City long ago ceased to enthrall me, but I admit that the “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” world is a perfect setting for mystery novels that I do enjoy. For example, 2015 Edgar Award-winner Chris Albani’s The Secret History of Las Vegas: A Novel offers an original plot in which a near-retirement Las Vegas detective and a South African doctor studying psychopaths join forces to solve a spate of murders implicating a pair of conjoined twins.



dark eyeDark Eye by William Bernhardt features psychologist Susan Pulaski, a Las Vegas police consultant whose life has spun out of control after the death of her cop husband, ending with an LVPD pink slip and a trip to detox. As a serial killer begins decorating Sin City with the horribly disfigured bodies of once beautiful young women, Pulaski is trying to regain her job and reputation, and stop a madman. She gets surprise help from a 25-year-old autistic savant whose unusual perspective forces her to see the crimes from a bizarre–but ultimately insightful–viewpoint.

For a different Vegas journey, try Ron Chaney’s Tony Hillerman Prize-winning The Ragged End of Nowhere, which stars a former CIA agent seeking his war veteran brother’s killer in the Vegas criminal underworld, a case complicated by allegations that the victim was in possession of a stolen ancient relic. For more mysteries set in Vegas, check out http://www.indianprairielibrary.org/books-movies-more/book/1199-all-time-faves-what-happens-in-vegas-mysteries-set-in-las-vegas


Katherine Sharma’s family roots are in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. But after her early childhood in Texas, she has moved around the country and lived in seven other states, from Virginia to Hawaii. She currently resides in California with her husband and three children. She has also traveled extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia, and makes regular visits to family in India. After receiving her bachelor’s degree. in economics and her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Michigan, Katherine worked as a newspaper and magazine writer and editor for more than 15 years. She then shifted into management and marketing roles for firms in industries ranging from outdoor recreation to insurance to direct marketing. Although Katherine still works as a marketing consultant, she is now focused on creative writing.

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