- September 6, 2021
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GALESBURG — The main character of Phillip Mottaz’s mystery novel “The Murderous Haircut of the Mayor of Bel Air” spent her childhood in small Illinois town before moving to Los Angeles, struggling to find her place, and getting in way over her head.
Mottaz, who graduated from ROWVA High School in 1994 and from Knox College in 1998, based much of this characterization on his own life, with the key difference being that he, unlike his main character, does not possess any psychic abilities.
The novel is the first installment in Mottaz’s Psychic Barber Mystery series. It’s about Danica Luman, a hairstylist who can read the minds of her customers.
Living and working in the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley, Danica uses her powers at work by touching her customers’ heads and receiving a vision of what their desired hairstyle could be. But one day, while giving a haircut to a customer she doesn’t know, she touches his head and sees a dead body.
Compelled to solve the case, she takes on the role of amateur detective, only to have each clue drag her further into the weird underbelly of Los Angeles. Fighting off unpaid bills, attempts on her life and dangerous family squabbles, Danica gets tangled up trying to solve the murder and discover how it connects to the cops, a college newspaper, and an old man who calls himself the Mayor of Bel Air.
After graduating from Knox, Mottaz studied improv and sketch comedy in Chicago. Since moving to Los Angeles, he has a variety of scripts, produced multiple podcasts and — to date — has developed no psychic abilities.
He lives with his wife and son in the San Fernando Valley. “The Murderous Haircut of the Mayor of Bel Air” is his first mystery novel. You can follow him on Twitter @phillipmottaz or subscribe to the newsletter on www.philip mottaz.com.
Mottaz is self-publishing the book and has chosen not to sell it through Amazon Kindle. He encourages readers to support local bookstores and libraries. eBooks are available through all the other non-Amazon-based sellers. The book is 346 pages and now available for purchase.
The book sold out at Wordsmith Bookshop in Galesburg this week, but can be ordered there.