Friday, July 20, 2007

"Nightmare in Napa"

Paul LaRosa is an Emmy Award-winning producer for the CBS newsmagazine 48 Hours. He won a Primetime Emmy for the acclaimed CBS documentary 9/11, and has also won a Peabody Award, a Christopher Award, and an Edward R. Murrow Award. For sixteen years he was reporter for the New York Daily News, where he was the co-winner with Anna Quindlen of the Meyer Berger Award given by Columbia University's School of Journalism.

LaRosa is the author of Tacoma Confidential and Nightmare in Napa, to which he applied the "Page 69 Test" and reported the following:
“A collective gasp filled the room.”

That’s the first sentence of page 69 of my non-fiction book Nightmare in Napa so I guess I feel pretty lucky. I think that’s a pretty darned good start for the page but let’s continue.

“No one could believe what they were hearing and before anyone asked the question, the human resources woman said, ‘Leslie was murdered along with her roommate last night by someone who broke into their house. We really don’t know anything else.’”

That paragraph basically sums up the story of my book. Two young women killed in their home and no one knows who did it. In my mind, it’s like an Agatha Christie mystery and we (you and me, dear reader) are going to solve this crime together. I think as a reader, if I were subscribing to the Page 69 test, I would probably buy the book at this point.

The rest of the page goes on to talk about how Leslie got her job at the Niebaum-Coppola winery and how well-liked she was. Now here is another interesting tidbit on that page – the famous Coppola name, as in Francis Ford Coppola. He owns the winery where Leslie worked and in fact the two had met each other on several occasions. Everyone is interested in the Godfather of the Godfather movies, aren’t they? Here you know you’re going to get at least some information about what it was like to work at the famous man’s winery which is, by the way, one of the most beautiful tasting rooms in all of Napa.

On this page, you also find out a bunch more about Leslie, how sociable she was and how she formed a small posse with women her own age.

In this case, this page works very well to whet one’s appetite for the rest of the book, I think.
Read an excerpt from Nightmare in Napa and learn more about the book at Paul LaRosa's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue