Author featured at booksigning |

Author featured at booksigning

Provided to the Tribune

After 20 years as a pioneer in the computer industry, Alan Cook is now indulging his passions: he writes about walking, something he does avidly, and fictionalized in “Walking to Denver,” about a walk he took – but not really.

He also is very serious about mystery novels. His latest, “The Hayloft,” is a 1950s mystery featuring bobby sox, slow dancing, the communist conspiracy, bomb shelters, Elvis, the Cold War – and murder.

Gary Blanchard finds himself kicked out of one school and attending another – the school where his cousin, Ralph, mysteriously died six months before. Ralph’s death was labeled an accident, but when Gary talks to people about it, he gets suspicious.

Did Ralph fall from the balcony or was he pushed? Had he found a diamond necklace, lost for generations? What about the principal with an abnormal liking for boys? And, are Ralph’s former girlfriends telling everything they know?

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Gary has a talent that helps him “get in good” with a couple of the key girls in his new school’s social/political machine – the powerful Sylvia and the beautiful Natalie. This comes in handy for his quest to find out how Ralph really died. Key scenes take place in the hayloft of the barn on the farm where Gary is staying with his aunt and uncle – Ralph’s parents. What happens in that hayloft will affect Gary for the rest of his life – if he survives.

Cook, who resides in Southern California, has written other mystery novels including “Hotline to Murder,” a mystery that takes place at a crisis hotline in Bonita Beach, Calif., and his Lillian Morgan mysteries, “Catch a Falling Star” and “Thirteen Diamonds,” explore the secrets of a retirement community. Cook’s short story, “Hot Days, Cold Nights,” appears in the Mystery Writers of America anthology, “A Hot and Sultry Night for Crime,” edited by Jeffery Deaver.

He splits his time between writing and walking. His inspirational book, “Walking the World: Memories and Adventures,” has information and adventure in equal parts. It has been named one of the “Top 10 Walking Memoirs and Tales of Long Walks” by the walking Web site,

If you go

Who: Author Alan Cook

What: Booksigning for “The Hayloft”

When: Saturday, March 17 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Where: Neighbors Bookstore, 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Village Center. (530) 541-6296.

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