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Synopsis

In 2004, Loreli Sereno has everything—looks, wealth, a great job as a real estate broker in a booming market, easy access to addictive substances. Then Loreli, supposedly clean and sober, dies in a kayaking accident with drugs in her system. "Murder," claims the Sereno family, major players in the emerging California Central Coast wine industry.

Five years later people have abandoned premium wines for two buck knockoffs. Creative financing forces the nouveau poor from their Mac-mansions, sometimes into homeless shelters. Everyone's credit cards are maxed-out, even Los Lobos residents, Bella and Mike Kowalski's.

Bella, a former nun, now a dirt-digging obituary editor, gets an urgent call from Magda Sereno regarding her sister's murder. Magda suspects Loreli's former fiancé, a maverick rancher who takes in the homeless on an ad hoc basis. Then Magda, a surfer, is brutally murdered on New Year’s Day at Cuyamaca Beach's annual Polar Bear dip.

MURDER AT CUYAMACA BEACH leads readers through the dark underbelly of California's scenic Central Coast, where the homeless gather under bridges while the wealthy slumber beneath satin sheets, and where a crowded, sunny beach offers no guarantee of safety.

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