Run Dog, Run by Kathleen Kasta

front cover5My new release, Run Dog Run, was the very first mystery I wrote. I finished the first draft fifteen years ago. It came close to being published several times, but no cigar. I finally put it on the back burner and let it simmer for a few years. The manuscript has been revised and updated so many times I almost have the thing memorized. Two years ago, I updated it again (for technology changes faster than automobile designs) and sent it out. Black Opal Books sent me a contract, and there you have it.
The story takes place in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin. If you’ve never been there, you should treat yourself to a trip in the springtime when wildflowers are in bloom.

Excerpt from Run Dog Run:

She’d been foolish and gone off alone, now she might have to pay the ultimate price…
The rocks along the bottom of the creek bed seemed to disappear. Kate felt the ropy gnarl of tree roots instead.

The cedar break. She was approaching the road and soon the water would pass through the culvert. She knew that she would not make it through the narrow tunnel alive. Her lungs screamed for air. With one final attempt, she grabbed hold of a long cedar root growing along the side of the creek bank and hung on. Miraculously, it held. She wedged her foot under the tangled growth and anchored herself against the current. Inching her way upward, she thrust her head above water and gulped for air. But debris in the current slapped her in the face, and leaves and twigs filled her mouth, choking her. Dizziness overcame her ability to think—exhaustion prevented her from pulling herself higher.

She must not give in. Fighting unconsciousness, Kate inched her way up a little farther, and at last was able to take a clear breath. Her right arm hung loosely by her side, the back of the shaft had broken off in the tumble through the current, but the arrow was lodged in her arm. Numb from cold water and exhaustion, she lay on the bank as the water swept over her, and then, as quickly as it had arrived, the flow subsided and the current slowed. If she could hang on a few moments longer, survival looked promising. As thoughts of hope entered her mind, Kate feared that her pursuer might not have given up the chase. Perfect, Kate Caraway, just perfect. You screwed up again, she chided herself as the lights went out.

Synopsis:
After five years in Africa, researching the decline of elephant populations, Kate Caraway’s project comes to a screeching halt when she shoots a poacher and is forced to leave the country. Animal rights activist Kate Caraway travels to a friend’s ranch in Texas for a much-needed rest. But before she has a chance to unpack, her friend’s daughter pleads for Kate’s assistance. The young woman has become entangled in the ugly world of greyhound abuse and believes Kate is the only one with the experience and tenacity to expose the crime and find out who is responsible. On the case for only a few hours, Kate discovers a body, complicating the investigation by adding murder to the puzzle. Now, she’s in a race against time to find the killer before she becomes the next victim.

161118_003Bio:
Kathleen Kaska is the author two awarding-winning mystery series: the Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series set in the 1950s and the Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book. Her first two Lockhart mysteries, Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queen Book Group, the largest book group in the country. Her latest Sydney Lockhart mystery, set in Austin, Texas, is Murder at the Driskill. When she is not writing, she spends much of her time with her husband traveling the back roads and byways around the country, looking for new venues for her mysteries and bird watching along the Texas coast and beyond. It was her passion for birds that led to the publication The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story (University Press of Florida).

Run Dog Run Kathleen’s her first mystery in the new Kate Caraway animal rights series.

Books are available through Black Opal Books, Kathleen’s website, and Amazon.
http://www.kathleenkaska.com
http://www.blackopalbooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/kathleenkaska

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Historical Los Angeles

Law and Order in old Los Angeles

El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles.

Los Angeles. The wild, wild west indeed. Before the city, there was the ‘hell hole of the west’, the most violent place at the end of the Pacific Special. The place where everyone went when they had no place else to go. When you were driven out of everyplace else, you went west, just like Horace Greeley told you to. And once you hit Los Angeles that was the end of the road.

Calle de los Negros

Los Angeles has always attracted the outcast, the misfit, people on the run and people seeking change. There’s never been anything normal or ordinary about the city of Angels or the people who inhabit it. I ought to know, I lived there for 8 years.

The first ‘law’ in L.A. was a volunteer group of men who formed the Los Angeles Rangers in the early part of the nineteenth century. Unpaid, they lived off the magnanimity of others for their equipment. The unit lasted roughly four years, then disbanded, leaving the already violent Los Angeles without a police presence. The county was overrun with bandits, gamblers, murderers and rustlers driven south by northern vigilantes. The proto-city had the highest murder rate in America, far higher than New York City or Chicago. Vice of all kinds was not only legal, it was taxed.

The Vigilance Committee was formed in 1836 to fill this void. On October 13, 1854, Pinckney Clifford, a respected businessman, was robbed and murdered by David Brown, a well-known bandit. The city Marshall jailed Brown, but the Vigilance Committee intended to take care of the killer. Mayor Stephen Foster intervened and convinced them to wait for the trial. Convicted and sentenced to hang in January 12, 1855, his attorney convinced the California Supreme Court to grant a stay of execution. This caused an uproar, and claiming to have been provoked beyond reason, the Vigilance Group, led by Mayor Stephen C Foster (who had resigned his position to lead the lynch mob) forcibly removed Brown from his cell and hanged him.

Spring Street 1876

When Foster ran for re-election he was voted back in as Mayor in a landslide. Only in Los Angeles, you say? L.A. was also the first major metropolitan city to recall a Mayor from office, but that, as they say, is another story.

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