Local author writes murder mystery novel set in Kern County

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Unsolved murder cases have long been sources of inspiration for those in creative fields. Now, an English professor at Bakersfield College has written her murder mystery, set right here in Kern County. In “Body In The Orchard,” writer Phyllis Wachob details a fictional but familiar tale of an unidentified body found in a local orchard and the hunt who did it.

“It’s based on the same kind of stories I read in the newspaper every morning,” said Wachob.

The first paragraph of her latest crime novel reads like it’s ripped straight out of a news report.

“Body found in an orchard read the headline,” said Wachob. “Vermilion Blue grabbed the paper and let her eyes traveled to the article on the lower right-hand corner of page two, so what else was new? Bodies were found all the time in the orchards in Bakersfield, was this one new laying on top of the newly fallen leaves, or was it old buried beneath a cement hard clay soil?”

The author also used many local landmarks like setting the main character’s home off Panorama Drive, lunches at Wool Growers and Bill lee’s, and even trips to downtown businesses like the Nile Theater and Guarantee Shoe Center to help set the tone of the story. She hopes the book captures Kern’s culture while also relating to all who have a deep-rooted connection with their hometown.

“In some ways, it could be any town,” said Wachob. “In some ways, it can only be Bakersfield.”

The book is available for purchase now on Amazon.

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