After a handful of delays (have you met 2020?), I’m launching my newest comedy murder mystery entitled MURDER BY ROAD TRIP on November 16, 2020 with my brilliant (she made me say that) co-author, my youngest daughter Jackie. How did I end up writing the sequel to PLEASURIA: TAKE AS DIRECTED with my 26-year-old daughter you ask? Well, it goes something like this. MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

It was the summer of 2016. I had just retired from a long career in the medical biotech and pharmaceutical industry at the end of 2015. Jackie had recently graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA a few months earlier with a degree in Media Arts and Design –while I still don’t know what that means, it has come in handy helping me publish my many novels – and had yet to land a job post-grad. So, we both had an unexpected overlap of free time. MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH 

We’re both workaholics – she might have inherited that particular affliction from me (sorry Jackie). I was struggling to find my way through my first year of retirement and she was anxious to start her first job. We needed relief from all that free time we had to relax. Crazy, you say? You would be correct. A workaholic with free time on his or her hands has a tendency to go stir-crazy and fill the void with some unexpected things. MURDER MY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

I had always wanted to travel across the country, to see the US of A up close and personal. My wife, on the other hand, does not enjoy traveling long distances by car with me. Apparently in her opinion I can be irritating in large doses (I am a pharmacologist, so dose is important). She has always said this could potentially result in ‘murder by road trip.’ (Hey, maybe that’s where I got the idea for the title? Thank you, Dear). She loves to travel, but prefers to fly, find a place to stay, and explore by taking short trips from the home base. She had not yet retired anyhow, so a road trip was not in the cards for her at that time. MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

My daughter and I generally get along well together, and she had not yet had the benefit of traveling long distances in a car with me. She also shares her love of travel with her mother. So I suggested we do a road trip, and she agreed. MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

We spent the better part of a month researching and planning a 7600 mile, 30-day road trip from Virginia to the West Coast and back. Not being avid campers, we decided to take my new Subaru Outback and stay in strategically located hotels along the way. My daughter is a detailed person and she planned each stop, down to the specific hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions that we’d visit along the way. I tend to look at the big picture, so my input included “Let’s take the southern route out to California and the northern route from Oregon back to Virginia.” MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

I learned pretty early into the trip that my big picture approach isn’t always in my best interest. She pretty much controlled what we ate, where we stayed and what we experienced on our road trip. My daughter loves cheese, and the itinerary was a bit heavy on visits to cheese meccas. I’m not big on trying new things, but I also got to try buffalo burgers, something called a marion berry crisp, and did I mention lots of different cheeses? MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

Other than that the final plan turned out great, with one other exception. We took the southern route to the west coast, through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in July. That, of course, was the “big picture guy’s” fault. The good news, the tires did not melt off of the Outback, although at 118 degrees in Tucson we were convinced they would. MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

We had an awesome time on our road trip. The trip took us west through Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, north through California and Oregon, and back east through Washington, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia to get back home to Virginia. We had many fun and exciting adventures. We saw the USA; it’s big, it’s beautiful and it’s filled with many very different people, living in incredibly varied environments. What an amazing experience! MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

I feel I should include one additional piece of information. I have a bad back, while Jackie is young and strong. So, at each hotel she kindly unloaded and loaded the Outback, including suitcases, a cooler, a bag or two of snacks, and a couple of small pieces of exercise equipment I require to keep my core as strong as possible. She was always pleasant and never complained about it, although she did run over my foot with my large rolling luggage a couple of times. Thank you, Jackie, for saving your old man’s back; my foot will probably heal someday. MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

So, when it came time to write another comedy murder mystery, the sequel to PLEASURIA: TAKE AS DIRECTED, I thought of our road trip. It seemed to me that the trip itself, including the various locations, scenery, tourist attractions and people that we saw along the way, would make a great stage for such a book. I discussed it with Jackie, and we decided to co-author the new book together. We settled on the title MURDER BY ROAD TRIP, which I thought was my idea, but after writing the above, I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t be giving credit for this title to my wife. MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

Jackie has a degree in Media Arts and Design with a minor in English. She’s a writer, editor, and cover designer all wrapped up in one, and she’s excellent at all three. Her day job is as a marketing expert in NYC, and that just might come in handy cause you have to sell a book if you want people to read it. I figured that out all by myself. MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

So, in summary, my daughter, Jacqueline, and I co-authored a new comedy murder mystery entitled MURDER BY ROAD TRIP. The staging for the story is based on a month-long trip across the USA that the two of us took together back in 2016. The book is the sequel to my first in this comedy murder mystery series, entitled PLEASURIA: TAKE AS DIRECTED. MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

With this book series I have created a new sub-genre (or sub-sub-genre?) of comedy murder mystery, the Biotech Murder Mystery, that includes stories staged in the medical biotech industry where I worked for many years. With cell and gene therapies, monoclonal antibodies, DNA vaccines and the like, involving scientists playing with our DNA, what could possibly go wrong? MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

Jackie and I plan to write several site-specific blog posts during the launch period for our new book in the next few weeks, providing our individual perspectives on our actual trip (not the trip in MURDER BY ROAD TRIP; Dr. Longfellow, amateur PI, isn’t real). Stay tuned for more, as I’m confident that she will only have good things to say about traveling with her old man. (Come to think of it, maybe it was she that came up with the title MURDER BY ROAD TRIP. Like mother like daughter?) MURDER BY ROAD TRIP PRE-LAUNCH

The actual launch date is November 16, when MURDER BY ROAD TRIP will become available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IngramSpark. But, if you want to be one of the first to get hold of a copy and solve the case, it’s already available on Amazon today at