There’s Something Shady at Sunshine Haven. That’s the title of a delightful new mystery novel from the pen of Kris Bock, known to her friends and neighbors in Socorro as Chris Eboch.
Since moving to Socorro over two decades ago, Eboch has firmly established herself as a well-known writer and novelist. She has written over 100 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Her novels for ages 9 and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; and The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy.
Her latest novel published just last week – under her nom de plume Kris Bock – is the first in her Accidental Detective Series. She describes it as a humorous mystery in which a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning 50 among a wacky group of family and friends.
“I’ve written a lot of things over the years, but this is the first true mystery series,” she said.
She came up with the idea a few years ago.
“I was almost turning 50 and I had this idea for a character who is at that stage of her life,” she said. “She’s been adventurous and physically active, and now she’s just discovering her body doesn’t recover as quickly as it used to, and she’s worried about whether she’ll ever be able to retire. She was a war correspondent but has been injured in a bombing and had to return home to Arizona where she grew up to share her home with her father and is trying to reinvent herself.
A blurb for the book, Something Shady at Sunshine Haven, states, “When patients are dying at an Alzheimer’s unit, a former war correspondent must use her journalism skills to uncover the killer and save her mother. Kate has followed the most dangerous news stories around the world, but can she survive going home?”
Kate is a different sort of character that one doesn’t see often in traditional mysteries, Eboch says. “She has a kind of wry and witty way of looking at the world, and is very fearless because of her war correspondent background.”
Eboch was a voracious reader growing up, consuming Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew mysteries, “and pretty much everything I could get my hands on.”
She dreamed of being a professional photographer; that was her major in college. But she found that writing was the thing for her.
“I love the creativity of telling stories. I like to entertain readers and, maybe, also comfort or inspire or give them a break. With kids, one of the great things is showing them a broader world than they may have experienced on their own.”
And there’s nothing wrong with just entertaining people.
“We all have things going on in our lives that are just exhausting or frustrating or tragic,” she said. “Being able to dive into a good book and relax. I think that’s a great gift to people.”
Eboch chose to live in Socorro a couple of decades ago, and for good reason. She once stated that her home office looks out on nature, “complete with distracting wildlife such as hummingbirds, roadrunners, and foxes.
“This is a place where I can go out my door and take a walk,” she said. “I sometimes like to walk and think. Whether it’s around the golf course or the ditch bank trails if I’m stuck in a story and I’m not sure what happens next, sometimes that walking can really loosen up the creativity and get things flowing.”
What advice would she have for fledgling authors?
“I would hope if they’re interested in writing they are already reading a lot,” she said. “You do pick up some things just by reading, which probably gives you direction on what you want to write, what genre, what age group.
“There are techniques to learn to get better. It’s not magic,” she said. “There are skills you can develop and it helps to have a teacher or read books and articles to develop those skills.
There are loads of classes out there. It does help to take some classes or read some books to get an idea of how to structure a story.”
Eboch also has writing craft books to her credit, including You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, and Advanced Plotting.
While Something Shady at Sunshine Haven has just hit the market, three more books are scheduled for release by February 2023. The publisher, Tule, is best known for romance but has moved into publishing both cozy and traditional mysteries.
This new book and her other works can be found on Amazon or her website, chriseboch.com