Murder She Writes

Local author releases latest effort

Published : Friday, September 12, 2014 | 4:38 AM

Dianne Emley probably knows as much about murder as anyone can, without actually committing one.

The Pasadena-based author has achieved a significant following with her mystery series featuring Pasadena Police homicide detective Nan Vining who spends much of her time dealing with the bloody deed.

Her successful series is set in Pasadena with familiar locales and character inspired by real people and real places. She stakes out the same locales once again in her latest book, The Night Visitor, to be released September 16 on the Random House Alibi label.

“I grew up in El Sereno,” she said recently. “My girlfriends and I would bug our brothers to give us a ride to Lake Avenue in Pasadena, and there were all the shops there, like I. Magnin and Bullock’s, and we would spend the whole day looking around.”

“While I use a lot of actual Pasadena locations in my books, I also create Pasadena locales that seem real but don’t really exist, ” she said.

The setting for the The Night Visitor is a rambling, Tuscan-styled home on a imaginary hilltop in Linda Vista, high above the Rose Bowl. Laughed Emley, “You won’t find it in real life, but it was inspired by a house I saw on a Pasadena Showcase tour once.”

Following years of living in the San Fernando Valley, the former UCLA Philosophy major eventually made Pasadena her home and made Pasadena Police Detective Nan Vining a regular fixture in her readers’ homes. She sold her first book in 1993, and eight books later, became a full-time mystery writer, garnering a large and loyal following in the process.

In case you’re wondering, yes, there will be a new Nan Vining book in the spring of 2015, but we’re getting way ahead of ourselves.

Emley’s new book, The Night Visitor, is the story of a beautiful young executive and socialite who is visited by “something otherworldly, who comes to her, seeking justice” as Emley says, turning the young woman’s universe upside down.

The standalone book is a departure from the Detective Nan Vining series. As Emley said, “I had written four Nan Vining books and was working on a fifth. Sometimes to keep a series fresh, you have to step away, and so I thought it was time to try something different.”

“The book was actually inspired by a tragic event that happened to a loved one of mine, which had disturbed me,” Emley continued.

“It’s quite a page turner, and its getting a lot of good pre-release reviews,” Emley admitted. She added that the new book, like its predecessors, “is suspenseful and explores dark themes, so fans who have come to look for that, won’t be disappointed.”

The new book is also unique in that it is a digital release only. It can be purchased wherever e-books are sold including, iTunes, and Barnes&

More information about Dianne Emley and her books is available at .

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