An Underground Mine Tour Inspired a Writer to Write a Murder Mystery

Share Article

Local author Preston Holtry has launched his debut mystery novel Death in Emily 3 (282 pages, Amazon paperback $13.95, Kindle $5.99; Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC), introducing Morgan Westphal, former Rough rider, town sheriff, and now a private investigator.

Jack Tyrrell, Oro Valley, AZ said: “The plot keeps the pages turning as you're transported to a rugged Arizona mining town to untangle a web of deceit and murder.”

The novel’s setting is Arizona in 1915 at a time when the state was the first to give women the vote, the motorcar was replacing the horse, and electric lights were no longer a novelty. Despite these signs of modernity, Arizona mining towns were wide open and turbulent because of conflict between mine owners and the mining unions. The fictional town of Adobe Wells is no exception.

When Morgan Westphal receives a telegram informing him Frank Shaw, his volatile younger half-brother, has been jailed for murder in Adobe Wells and needs help, he thinks Frank just might be guilty. Against his better judgment, Morgan goes to Adobe Wells and finds his brother accused of killing Phillip Hardesty in Tunnel 3 of the Emily Mine. Morgan questions whether the mangled body of the murdered man in the town morgue is even Hardesty. By the time Morgan discovers who was killed in Tunnel 3 and why, he will risk his life in the Emily Mine, become embroiled in a turbulent labor strike, and have a deadly confrontation with a sadistic deputy marshal.

Holtry said the novel was inspired by a casual mine tour in Bisbee, AZ. By the time he left the mine, the concept of the novel and the setting were established and Morgan Westphal left the mine with him.

The novel is the first in the Westphal series with two other novels now completed drafts and in the queue; a fourth novel is underway.

Preston Holtry graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and completed graduate work at Boston University. He was a career army officer and served twice in Vietnam in addition to a variety of other infantry and intelligence-related assignments in Germany, England, and the United States. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. Contact him at his website or email address for speaking engagements and book signings.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Preston Holtry
Visit website