At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned. The mysterious death of a teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is soon followed by an apparent case of spontaneous human combustion. In a small town bursting with friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just beneath the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits him against artful private investigator Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome, smart and seductive, and he just might be the killer Rome is seeking.
~ Xpresso BT
Guest Post: Top 10 Easter Eggs in Murder on the Lake of Fire
by Mikel J. Wilson
1. Jeff Woodard, the PI in Murder on the Lake of Fire, receives a phone call from a client named August, who is actually the antagonist of my first published novel, Sedona: The Lost Vortex. In that book, August Briar calls a PI named Jeff, asking him to track a license plate number.
2. The name of the book’s protagonist, Emory Rome, is a palindrome.
3. Besides an apt description of the first murder scene, the Lake of Fire in the book’s title is, of course, a reference to a punishment in Hell that is mentioned in the Bible’s book of Revelation. It’s also symbolic of Emory’s return to the place of his tortured past. What exactly happened to him as a kid? We’ll find out in future books.
4. The key to Jeff’s office is A Separate Peace, which is my favorite book.
5. Emory and Jeff graduated from cross-state rivals Vanderbilt and UT, respectively, mirroring their initial animosity and competitiveness in finding the killer.
6. Emory and Jeff’s disdain for sweet tea, a Southern staple, illustrates how out of place each of them feels.
7. I included my French bulldog, Sophie, in the book as Sheriff Rome’s dog.
8. Jeff talks Emory into going with him to a nightclub called If Tomorrow Comes, which is a reference to the adage, “Live every day like it’s your last.” It’s reflective of one of Jeff’s motivations, getting Emory to enjoy today and stop being so focused on the future.
9. The description for the exterior of Mourning Dove Investigations matches a building in Knoxville’s Old City region. If you look down a certain street, you should be able to spot it.
10. The surname of the first victim’s family is Algarotti, which means “broken algae” in Italian. It symbolizes their dysfunction and how that poisons the family business, a water-bottling company.
About the Author & Links:
Mikel J. Wilson’s debut novel, Sedona: The Lost Vortex, a science fiction book based on the Arizona town’s legends of energy vortexes, received widespread critical praise, including a Sharp Writ Book Award. Although he now lives in San Diego, Wilson draws on his Southern roots for his new mystery series, Mourning Dove Mysteries, which are set in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee. The novels features Emory Rome, a 23-year-old Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agent who’s adept at solving bizarre murders. The first novel in the series, Murder on the Lake of Fire, will be available December 1, 2017.
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