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Location, Location, Location

Nancy is a wonderful author. Even this post about about her new book is fun to read. All about Bushwhacked in the Outback is right here. Enjoy!


By Nancy Raven Smith

If you’re buying a house or opening a new business, you’ll hear location, location, location constantly. For me, it’s an important choice to consider when I write a cozy mystery. I love finding unusual, interesting sites as the stage for my characters to explore. It’s my hope that those places will make the stories more interesting for the reader.

I chose Lexi Winslow as the protagonist for my Land Sharks series. She’s a bank fraud investigator for a small private bank in Beverly Hills. When the bank’s wealthy and international traveling customers have money problems, it’s often her job to fix things. That lets me send her all over the world.

My newest book in the series, Bushwhacked in the Outback, takes Lexi to Coober Pedy in the Australian outback.

I learned about the area from my husband who’s an international jewelry design instructor and some of his friends who live and work there.

Here are some of the things that drew me to choose Coober Pedy and are included in my book. World wide, it’s considered the opal mining capital of the world. Opals can be worth more than diamonds per carat. You can even find opals on the surface of the ground. Large deposits of both gold and oil have also been discovered there recently.

The town has a population of approximately 1,762. Not a big number, but because it is a rich mining area, it includes people from over forty-four different countries.

Coober Pedy sounds like a great place to make your fortune. The only problem is that most people wouldn’t want to live there. It’s located in the middle of the continent of Australia and in the middle of the desert. It’s mid-February as I write this and the temperature is 105 degrees. Temperatures there range from 122 F to sub zero. Because of the extremes, most people choose live underground in homes called dugouts. Dugouts are literally old mines converted into homes because the median temperature underground is a steady 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit. There are even stories about people enlarging the rooms in their homes and discovering rich veins of opals.

Another problem with living in Coober Pedy are the critters. Australia is famous for its venomous animals. Many of them live in the outback. One of the biggest dangers of the Outback is venomoussnakes. Multiple snakes lurk in the desert bushes and rocky areas, including the inland taipans, Stimson’s pythons, orange-naped snakes, mulga snakes, curl snakes, desert death adders, and speckled brown snakes. Then there are the venomous spiders, etc.  

All of these things, even the snakes, made Coober Pedy a fascinating place to use as the setting for my book. If you read Bushwhacked in the Outback, I hope you’ll enjoy the location, too. 

 Bushwhacked in the Outback 

“If you can’t follow the money, follow the body.”

Lexi loves her job as a Beverly Hills bank fraud investigator. It lets her pursue scam artists and con men – known in the business as land sharks.

Sadly, one crook left her with a broken heart and a destroyed reputation. And the bank’s president is looking for any excuse to fire her.

Yet she risks everything when she follows a dead embezzler’s casket to Coober Pedy in the Australian outback. She knows it’s a gamble, but it’s her last hope to recover the bank’s stolen money. Unfortunately, she’s persona non grata in that country. She needs to get in, find the money, and get out before the Australian police discover her presence. But will the unexpected appearance of an ex-lover make her linger too long?

If you like cozy mysteries in exotic locations with deadly secrets and touches of humor, then you’ll enjoy the multi award winning Land Sharks Cozy Mystery series.

Available on at

About the Author

Nancy Raven Smith

Nancy Raven Smith grew up in Virginia, where she ran and participated in horse sport events. On their farm, she rescued horses, dogs, and cats and is an advocate for animal rescue. Later in California, she traded her event experience for film work. Her screenplays and novels have won numerous major awards. When not writing, Raven Smith enjoys her family and friends, travel, art, movies, and white water rafting. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Women in Film.

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Buy links for

Bushwhacked in the Outback available on at

Swindle in Sumatra available on at

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