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Book II

DEATH IS POLITICAL: A Kate Swift Mystery

Vella cover with dead body

A little information on the format and access

By Bob Burnerttr

March 13, 2024

DEATH IS POLITICAL: A Kate Swift Mystery

Announcing book two of the Kate Swift Mysteries. In DEATH IS POLITICAL, Laura Sanchez moves to Sonoma County to become Santa Rosa’s assistant police chief. Her friend, Gabe Salinas, is running for sheriff. After Gabe is murdered, Laura asks Kate Swift to investigate. Kate convinces Laura to enter the sheriff’s race. A criminal gang comes after them.

DEATH IS POLITICAL will be released in two stages. In stage one, the mystery will be released as a serial via KINDLE VELLA. Then in stage two, the mystery will be released as an eBook and paperback.

Here’s how to start reading: Go to AMAZON and then KINDLE VELLA for DEATH IS POLITICAL and start reading; the first three episodes are free.

Why am I releasing DEATH IS POLITICAL this way? First, I thought it would be fun to write an old-fashioned serial. KINDLE VELLA makes this easy. Second, I thought this would be a convenient way to get feedback before DEATH IS POLITICAL is published as an eBook and paperback. That is, a way to get feedback on typos and plot issues.

I’m still learning how to do this.


Chapter One (Kate)

From our Russian Hill apartment, Tom and I can see both Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. On a crisp sunny day, I was enjoying this view while painting in my studio when Laura Sanchez called my cellphone.

“Gabe’s dead,” Laura said with a quaver.

“That’s terrible. What happened?”

Gabriel Salinas was a friend of Laura’s; someone she’d met while attending the University of California at Berkeley. Gabe had become the Windsor Police Chief in Sonoma County. Gabe had enticed Laura to leave her safe position as head of the detective’s division of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department and apply for the job as assistant chief of Police at the Santa Rosa Police Department. (“I think the chief’s about to retire, and you’ll be positioned to be the first Chicano police chief in Sonoma County,” Gabe had said.

“Gabe was found floating in the Russian River,” Laura said. “Unfortunately, his body was discovered in an unincorporated area near Guerneville and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department is handling the case. They’ve been uncooperative.”

Introducing… My first book in



Book I: DEATH IS POLITICAL: A Kate Swift Mystery

Click image to read back cover

Death is Potential Mystery by Bob Burnett


By Kristi Elizabeth

Star Rating: 5 / 5

“Death is Potential is a fantastic read for anyone who loves a suspenseful mystery with a cast of richly developed characters. US Marshall Kate Swift reunites with her friend and possible love interest, Tom Scott, at the Satori Institute, a wellness center and hot-springs resort set in a secluded area south of Monterey, California, in Big Sur. After Tom’s wife, Fiona, passed away from cancer, he decided to attend the Transitions workshop being given at Satori. Both he and Fiona had loved going to Satori. Kate is also attending the Transitions workshop to work on finding out why her relationships always seem to go wrong. What Kate and Tom don’t realize is that one of the Founders of the Satori Institute was found dead just one day before their arrival.

The book starts from the point of view of Detective Sergeant O’Malley and Detective Sanchez as they drive to the Satori Institute to investigate the death of Founder Malcolm Eastwick. As the investigation leads to suspected homicide, the detectives enlist Kate Swift to help them with their investigation after a fire breaks out and Highway 1 is closed off.

What I really enjoyed about Death is Potential is how the author drew Kate and Tom closer and closer together throughout the story but still stayed focused on the murder mystery plot. The character development in this book is phenomenal as the reader is allowed to “peek” into the Transitions workshop and learn all about each character and his or her background. It brings the reader closer to each character. This part of the book reminded me a lot of Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers, which is also set at a retreat center.

As more dead bodies start showing up, Kate knows she must be careful and watch her back. Having Tom by her side helps, and as they uncover clues to help the detectives, their bond with the other characters in the book helps to bring some light to the situation. Malcolm was not necessarily the nicest of persons and had a lot to hide.

Set in the beautiful backdrop of the Big Sur mountains, one can only imagine the peaceful air and surreal beauty that would surround an institute like Satori. Readers will enjoy the steady pace of Death is Potential, which combines mystery and suspense with a touch of romance thrown in. With themes of loss, love, and trauma, this book will have readers embracing every word they read.”

excerpts from the first three mysteries

Book 1

Robert Burnett Book Death is Potential

Book 2


Book 3



Be one of the first to read the mystery!

Now available as Kindle Vella. Readers can find thre story in the Kindle Vella store on and in the Kindle app on iOS, Android, and Fire devices