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Former international war correspondent Kate Tessler had to trade her illustrious journalism career for her childhood bedroom after a brush with death almost took her leg. But when the editor of a local newspaper asks for her help, Kate is drawn back into her old world. Can a fifty-year-old journalist still recovering from a war injury survive the dangers of the Arizona desert long enough to catch a killer?

“I loved this story so much. It had a bit more edge and danger to it, but also the charm and humor. I am always so astonished how you weave in all the generations of the growing detective agency—you give everyone something to do, a way to be involved and validated and yet we don’t lose focus on our protagonist.” – Sinclair Jayne, author

Kris Bock recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, SOMEONE MISSING FROM MALAPAIS MOUNTAINS.

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

This is book 4 in a series, so I already had the main character and her quirky gang of sidekicks. I merely needed to come up with an exciting new problem for them to solve! The first three books took place in city settings, so for this one I moved part of it into the wilderness, which is surprisingly close to the enormous greater Phoenix area.

Kris Bock

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

I generally plan out mystery novels in advance. But with a mystery you ideally want to keep the villain something of a surprise until the end. It’s tricky setting up the clues and red herrings so everything makes sense but it isn’t too easy to figure it out. When I come up with a twist that surprises me and takes the book in a new direction, I figure it was a decent chance of surprising the reader as well.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

In this book, Kate and her cohorts are searching the Arizona desert for a missing man. Friends and I once found the body of a murder victim in the mountains of New Mexico. I wouldn’t exactly call it research, but it did help me understand the psychology of being in that position, as well as how difficult it would be to find someone missing in the wilderness.


Kris Bock writes novels of mystery, suspense, and romance, many with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. In the humorous Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty. Get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material when you sign up for her newsletter. You’ll also get a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café and a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the cat café novels.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.

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