Fiction Author Reveals Murder Conspiracy—Arizona Real Estate Developer Involved

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Arizona author Michael Allan Scott recently found himself writing a high-profile murder mystery involving a local real estate developer.

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I learned what makes an engaging story from my favorite mystery novel authors, market research and my own personal experience.

After the recent death of Lance Underphal’s wife, the crime scene photographer woke up plagued by premonitions. The double shooting of an Arizona real estate developer and his mistress/bookkeeper sent Underphal over the edge. A scenario like this seems like it would be pulled from a murder mystery novel—which is exactly what it was. This is a glimpse into new author Michael Allan Scott’s newest fiction book, Dark Side of Sunset Pointe, written to engage and entertain adult readers.

Scott approached the writing of his book in a unique way; he outsourced a lengthy market research study to see exactly what mystery novel readers want to read. The study revealed that over 60% of readers were interested in a scenario that could happen in real life.

Scott isn’t the only author who understands that actual events make a mystery novel more believable and compelling. Elaine Hirsh, writer for, said, “thrillers and mysteries based on real events bring relevance to otherwise bland stories, which gives chills to readers that are harder to dismiss.” She later goes on to list well-known novels that are based on real events (albeit embellished by authors) (1):

● The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty, was made popular because of its graphic film version. However, before the film shocked the world, it was a novel based on the 1949 exorcism of a young boy.

● The Girl Next Door, by Jack Ketchum, is based on the crime of Sylvia Likens, a young girl whose parents left her with a near total stranger while they worked in a traveling show. Her guardian retained custody of Sylvia for three months, during which she tortured Sylvia until her death.

● In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, is perhaps the most famous true crime novel of all time. It is based on the 1959 murders of a family in Kansas. The research for the novel was conducted by Truman Capote and Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

In Scott’s newest mystery novel, Dark Side of Sunset Pointe, he uses his experience as a real estate professional to create an authentic plot with relatable characters.

Dark Side of Sunset Pointe is scheduled to be released November, 2012:

“Frank Salmon, the hard-boiled homicide detective on the case, comes to see Underphal as an asset. Salmon uses Underphal’s prescient visions to piece together hard evidence. But the trail goes cold until a double homicide at a fast food drive-thru leads back to the shady developer’s death.

Salmon pursues the clues through twists and turns, leading him from a popular strip club to a failing community bank, adding a blackmailing stripper’s murder to the body count.”

“I learned what makes an engaging story from my favorite mystery novel authors, market research and my own personal experience,” commented Scott. “My readers will connect better if they can picture something similar happening in real life.”

To read more from Dark Side of Sunset Pointe, or for more information about fiction author Michael Allan Scott, visit

About Michael Allan Scott:
Michael Allan Scott was born and raised at the edge of the high desert in Kingman, Arizona. He started in early 1978 by forming a commercial real estate company, but for years secretly wrote stories and poetry for his own satisfaction. His works include Dark Side of Sunset Pointe, due to be released in November, 2012, and Flight of the Tarantula Hawk, due to be released in the spring of 2013. Scott uses real-life scenarios as inspiration for his novels. His murder mysteries contain strong language, violence and sex, and are rated “R”. For more information on Michael Allan Scott and his two novels, visit

(1)Hirsh, Elaine. Accessed November 8, 2012. “Guest Blogger: Elaine Hirsch: Top Five Thriller/Mysteries Based on Real Events”

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