Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery
by Marc Jedel
About the Book
Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery
1st in Series
BGM Press (October 11, 2018)
Print Length: 287 pages
Protect his sister. Solve a murder. Get his eye-rolling, pre-teen nieces to school. And that’s just how Marty Golden’s crazy week begins to unravel.
A mysterious crash hospitalizes Marty’s sister and a nearby murder puts her in deadly danger. Too bad Marty isn’t exactly hero material.
Working in Silicon Valley, Marty’s skills lie more in navigating technology and telling dad jokes than playing an amateur sleuth. Armed with special powers of self-delusion and the inability to leave a coherent voicemail message, Marty bumbles through investigating his sister’s zany HR clients, exposing dangerous secrets and suspects, all while becoming attracted to a suspect.
In the process, Marty stumbles into a drug gang, impersonates an IRS agent, tangles with an assassin, dodges a cantankerous school secretary and is frequently outsmarted by his two sly, yet vulnerable, nieces. This quirky, fashion-backward uncle must save his sister, solve the mystery and get his life back to normal — before it’s too late.
As his eight, or maybe nine, year-old niece would say, “Betcha, you’ll like it.”
My book, Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery, is a humorous murder mystery. Silicon Valley is not your typical cozy mystery locale and Marty Golden doesn’t fit the normal profile of a mystery protagonist.
Despite finding himself thrust into challenging situations, Marty isn’t exactly hero material.
He has a wonderful combination of wit, irreverent humor and sarcasm mixed in with nerdy insecurities, absent-mindedness, and fumbling but effective amateur sleuthing skills. With an active inner voice and not a lot of advanced planning, he throws himself into solving problems.
To get a better understanding of Marty and the Silicon Valley that he enjoys, I wanted to share Marty Golden’s Fun Yet Wacky Things to Do in the Bay Area / Silicon Valley:
- San Francisco Tiled Mosaic Staircases – Locals refer to these beautiful works of art as the secret tiled staircases. For Marty, the phrase “secret” or “do not enter” has always attracted him. There are several decorated staircases, but check out the one on 16th Avenue first as it’s the nicest, with amazing mosaics on the steps all the way up the hill.
- Eat Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl, then watch the sea lions at Pier 39. You’re going to be hungry after climbing all those steps so grab some clam chowder in a bread bowl at Boudin’s. Then walk over to the sea lions next door at Pier 39. No, this isn’t a big secret but it’s still pretty wacky. After the 1989 earthquake, the sea lions took over a pier for their own use. Marty believes the earthquake was just the last straw for them. Not only was the ocean too cold, but they objected to the A’s beating the Giants in the World Series that year. They’re fun to watch and you can pretend it’s educational because you’ll learn the difference between a seal and sea lion. Try to remember the definition at least long enough to do item #4 on this list.
- Santa Cruz Mystery Spot — How could Marty not be attracted to a place that describes itself as a “gravitational anomaly located in the redwood forests near Santa Cruz”? Marty’s been several times — no kids required, although a child-like sense of wonder helps — and the hysterical guides and strange demonstrations are well worth it.
- Kayaking at the Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay — It’s not far from the Mystery Spot and it’s beautiful. You can rent kayaks or go on a Hydro Bike. Yes, ride a bike on the water. And, you won’t fall in. Marty prefers to kayak but gets a kick out of passing bikers on the water. You’ll see tons of sea otters, sea lions, and seals, not to mention birds. If you paid attention at Pier 39, you’ll even know the difference between them.
- Circus Trees in Gilroy Gardens amusement park. If you have little children and want a day at an unusual amusement park, this is the place. Marty stumbled across the wild “circus trees” displayed there. Their bizarreness was right up his alley. Look up the pictures even if you don’t visit.
- Computer History Museum or the Apple Visitor Center. You’ve spent all this effort to get to Silicon Valley so you’ve got to stop by at least one techie place. Marty would suggest the Computer History Museum if you like museums and history, or drop by the free Apple Visitor Center to look into their new spaceship campus. You could go to NASA’s Ames Visitor Center to see space stuff but Marty thinks the Apple building looks more like a real spaceship to him.
- San Jose options. Since none of the above sites were in the city where Marty lives, I wanted to share a few San Jose selections. You can also visit the Winchester Mystery House (a must), attend a Mystery Dinner Theater, or visit one of the many Mystery Rooms. Yes, Marty loves a fun, little mystery — as long as they’re not too scary … and there’s food nearby.
Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery (Book 1) will only remain $0.99 for a short while so be sure to pick it up today at Amazon. For more about the book or author, please visit www.marcjedel.com.
About the Author
In my family, I was born first — a fact my sister never lets me forget, no matter what milestone age she hits.
For most of my life, I’ve been inventing stories. Some, especially when I was young, involved my sister as the villain. As my sister’s brother for her entire life, I’m highly qualified to tell the tale of the evolving, quirky sibling relationship in Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery.
My writing skills were honed in years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley. While my high-tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, we called these marketing collateral, emails, and ads.
My family and friends would tell you that Marty’s character isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for me, but I proudly resemble that remark.
Author Links – Coming Soon
November 5 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
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November 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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