Mystery is set in Sierra |

Mystery is set in Sierra

Provided to the Tribune
Provided to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Mystery writer Don Eckhardt will sign copies of his books from 2 to 5 p.m. today at Neighbors Bookstore. In addition, he will discuss the books at noon during a live interview with KTHO radio.

Combining his legal experiences with his love of traveling to the locations he intends to use as backdrops for his stories, Don Eckhardt has created mystery/thrillers taken from current headlines. Eckhardt began his career as a novelist after a long and notable career in law, using his knowledge and his imagination to craft suspenseful, entertaining, yet educational, mysteries that circumnavigate the globe. Eckhardt is an attorney-mediator/arbitrator whose latest novel, “The Atomic Hell Puzzle,” is an intelligent blend of history, computer technology, presidential politics, violence, and romance.

Eckhardt’s first date with his wife, Pati, was during a ski club trip to Heavenly Ski Resort 28 years ago. During the 1980s, they lived for six months on Dollar Hill near Tahoe City, then spent 18 months in San Francisco. The couple fell in love with the area and has visited the Lake Tahoe region on numerous occasions. Much of “The Atomic Hell Puzzle” focuses on Lake Tahoe, including Squaw Valley and the Desolation Wilderness Area.

There were two cases that drove home for Eckhardt the similarity between mystery novels and the headlines we read every day. In the first, while working as an Admiralty trial lawyer, Eckhardt became involved in a wrongful death action filed by the family of a seaman who had committed suicide.

Eckhardt says that after conducting an exhaustive investigation, it was necessary “to write a 50-page plus report that read much like a mystery short story.”

In the second case, a federal judge appointed Eckhardt to represent an inmate in the Texas Department of Corrections, who had filed a suit alleging that a lawyer and several of her clients confined in the TDC” were conspiring to foment unrest and rebellion in the prison and were “depriving the plaintiffs and others of their civil rights.” One of the potential witnesses in the case escaped from prison and, shortly after the trial, murdered an inmate, just released, who had testified.

These cases led to Eckhardt’s interest in mystery writing, which has manifested itself in two novels featuring amateur sleuth, Temperance “Temp” Link; her U.S. Senator father, Wilson Link; and astronaut Rowdy Marshall; as well as many other diverse and interesting characters.

The Temper/Rowdy Mystery-Thrillers include “The Atomic Hell Puzzle” and “The Hannibal e-Puzzle.” Eckhardt’s new novel, “The Hannibal e-Puzzle,” is a compelling tale of romance and mystery that mimics the world of Washington politics – a story that both entertains and educates.

With the security of the United States in jeopardy, Temper and Marshall race against time to solve the puzzle created when mysterious e-mails anonymously sent to the Cyberspace Alliance for Electronic and Encryption Privacy by Hannibal warn of a conspiracy to take over the U.S. government.

Eckhardt’s first novel, “The Atomic Hell Puzzle,” is an intriguing puzzle wrapped in a mystery thriller inside a cozy whodunit.

The worldwide action in this exciting story takes place in locations that include Paris, Washington, D.C., Geneva, San Francisco, Aspen, New Orleans, Russia’s impenetrable Yamantau Mountain, and space. The sleuths set out to unravel the mystery and are ensnared in a maelstrom that leads them to ancient Pueblo Indian ruins near Los Alamos, onto the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe and Switzerland, into the depths of the USSPACECOM/NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, and through the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Gold Country.

Eckhardt will discuss his books during a live interview at noon Friday on KTHO AM 590 radio at Neighbors Bookstore.

To learn more about mystery author, Don Eckhardt, visit his Web site at

If you go

Who: Mystery writer Don Eckhardt

What: Booksigning for “The Atomic Hell Puzzle” and “The Hannibal e-Puzzle”

When: Friday, 2 to 5 p.m.

Where: Neighbors Bookstore, Village Center, 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd. (530)651-6296.

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