Category: Research

I LOVE when mystery novels set in a past era try to stick as closely as possible to true history. It gives me goosebumps to discover that what I’m reading is inspired by actual events and is not too far from the way things really were, especially when it’s difficult to believe people really did/thought/believed that back then. What I’ve found is there’s really nothing new under the sun, only the same, but different.

Sanborn Maps of Spokane circa 1901

Sanborn Maps of Spokane circa 1901

One of my main sources for researching locations in 1901 Spokane has become Sanborn Maps. Sanborn maps are fire insurance maps, created to show where buildings existed in a city for safety reasons, including where the water mains ran and where the nearest station is. Like most maps of Spokane around my time period, I …

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Historical Locations in Cupboards All Bared

Historical Locations in Cupboards All Bared

Hangman Creek, the Campbell House, and the Montvale Hotel aren’t the only local historical locations featured in Cupboards All Bared. (Each of those links will take you to the in-depth article on those locations.) You’ll find many more little cameos from local Spokane locations throughout the book, like the Spokesman-Review building and Dodson’s jewelry. Check …

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The Montvale Hotel in Cupboards All Bared

The Montvale Hotel in Cupboards All Bared

The third major location featured in Cupboards All Bared is the Montvale Hotel. The Montvale was built in 1899 by Probate Judge John Binkley as one of the first Single Room Occupancy hotels in Spokane. This means it was built for the laborers that were constantly in flux in Spokane, coming through to work on …

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Hangman Creek in Cupboards All Bared

Hangman Creek in Cupboards All Bared

We’re going to jump now to another important location in the book: where they find the body. Once I knew the events of the second book had to include McKinley’s visit and the Campbells, I needed a way to tie in a murder. Just down the road from the Campbell House is Overlook Park, which …

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The Campbell Family in Cupboards All Bared

The Campbell Family in Cupboards All Bared

Cupboards All Bared, Book 2 in the Spokane Clock Tower Mysteries, is direct proof that reading old newspaper articles can be incredibly inspiring to historical mystery writing! While researching for the first book, originally set in early May 1901, I stumbled across this article: There’s nothing quite like reading articles from the time period to …

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Campbell House Reading

Campbell House Reading

I’ve shared a final reading from Cupboards All Bared over on YouTube! This one’s a long one, and very special, because it includes photographs of the Campbell House to go with the reading! You can learn more about the Campbell House here on my website, and I’ll be sharing more next week! MARK YOUR CALENDARS! …

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Cupboards All Bared Reading 4

Cupboards All Bared Reading 4

In this reading we return to the body in Hangman Creek, a location you can still visit today, this time to introduce two real-life historical figures: Coroner Nathan M. Baker and Officer Walter Lawson. You can learn more about both of them in my blog here about historical characters. In this sequel to Butcher, Baker, Candlestick …

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The President is Coming to Spokane (in 1901)

The President is Coming to Spokane (in 1901)

Did you miss my presentation with the Spokane Public Library about the President Coming to Spokane (in 1901)? Never fear! It was recorded, and you can now view at your leisure! If you liked that, subscribe to my YouTube channel where you’ll find presentations, readings, and more! Be sure to check around my website for more information …

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Cupboards All Bared Reading 3

Cupboards All Bared Reading 3

In this reading I’ll be introducing you to a new character: Peter Bach, reporter for the Spokesman-Review! I also share personal videos of Hangman Creek, a location you can still visit today! In this sequel to Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Taker, we’re once again transported to Spokane, 1901. A body discovered in Hangman Creek looks to be …

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History to Mystery in Colorado

History to Mystery in Colorado

I recently had the honor of sharing my History to Mystery presentation with the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs! That’s right: you don’t have to be from Spokane or even familiar with Spokane to enjoy the Spokane Clock Tower Mysteries! In fact, some of the top reviews have come from people NOT from …

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