Highway Of Darkness

A Mystery Reader’s Road Trip Up California’s Highway 99

“Ever since Frank Chambers got thrown off the hay wagon at noon in The Postman Always Rings Twice, the desolate, farm regions of California have made compelling settings for mystery writers.”

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May 14, 2021 by Jane Rosenthal
via She Writes Press

After a year of COVID lockdowns, we are all antsy to go somewhere, but where, exactly? Many countries are still under lockdown, and who’s going to buy a high-price plane ticket only to end up haggling with the airlines if you have to cancel. So, ROAD TRIP! That’s the answer, and I’ve got a great one for mystery reading, adventurous types—a trip up California’s Highway 99 straight through the Central Valley from Bakersfield to Sacramento.

I’m certain this is not the first itinerary you had in mind. Right now, you are envisioning a multi-lane, pot-holed road, crammed with dilapidated produce trucks, flotillas of giant Walmart big rigs whizzing by on the left, and speeding farm labor vans crammed with way too many guys and too few seat belts passing you on the right in the breakdown lane. Honestly, you’re not far off the mark. Still, you’re in for a fascinating journey, a mystery reader’s trip through ‘the forgotten California’.

All you’ll need are a few essentials before you get on the road: the names of some great food trucks, off-the-beaten-track watering holes, a playlist for Spotify of local valley music, and a handful of crime novels. Just make sure your seat belts are fastened and your air-conditioner works.

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