New York Times Bestselling Author Steve Hodel

Steve Hodel’s New True-Crime Book, “IN THE MESQUITE: The Solving of the 1938 West Texas Kidnap Torture Murders of Hazel and Nancy Frome” Launches Today

August 14, 2019
Los Angeles, California


Print Edition Available HERE.

Retired LAPD Homicide Detective III, Steve Hodel, brings over fifty-years of law enforcement, homicide, and private investigative experience to bear on what the Texas Rangers said, “Remains the biggest unsolved mystery in the American Southwest.” 
March 1938- The breaking story started out slow, announcing that a mother and daughter, traveling in their touring car, cross country from California to the East Coast, “were missing on a West Texas highway.”
Within days came a second announcement cautioning that “foul play was suspected.” Next, their abandoned car was found, and on the fifth day of the search, the nation’s worst fears were realized.
August 2019- Eighty-one years later, in what can be considered one of the nation’s coldest of cold cases, IN THE MESQUITE carefully reconstructs the chronology of the double-homicide based on original law enforcement documents, newspaper reportage, and eye-witness accounts.
As silent passengers in the back seat of Hazel and Nancy Fromes’ brand new 1937 Silver Packard, Series-Eight 7-seater touring car we ride along on their journey from California to visit their daughter and sister and family in the East Coast.
The identification and naming of the mother and daughter’s sadistic killer(s) and the evidence presented offering the solution will satisfy both sense and reason.
The author, a highly-skilled former LAPD homicide detective, provides his readers with the answer to the three basic requirements needed to solve this crime:- the MOM- the killer’s Motive, his Opportunity, and his Means.
Steve Hodel is a New York Times bestselling author. He spent twenty-four years with the LAPD, where, as a homicide detective, he worked on more than three hundred murder cases and achieved one of the highest “solve rates” on the force. He is a licensed PI and author and his first book, Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder was a New York Times bestseller and was nominated for an MWA Edgar Award in the Best Fact category. Steve has written and published four additional true crime books His investigations, now in their twentieth year, have been featured on NBC Dateline, CBS 48 Hours, Court TV, A&E Bill Kurtis, Cold Case Files, Bill Kurtis Through the Decades, CNN Anderson Cooper, The Today Show, and the Discovery Channel. Steve most recently appeared in March 2019 on the Today Show
and Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, where he with other family members discussed the making of the No. 1 national hit podcast, Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia Murder. Steve resides in his hometown of Los Angeles.

Book print orders can now be placed through AMAZON 

FOR THOSE DESIRING A SIGNED/PERSONALIZED COPY  a purchase can be made through PayPal (Include person’s name, mailing address for personalization) and email payment of $24.00 to:  [email protected]


Send a personal check in the amount of $24.00 to (include person’s name, and return mailing address) to:
Steve  Hodel
12400 Ventura Blvd Box 378
Studio City CA 91604
(Above purchase price includes U.S. mailings only)
Personalized Orders Available only after SEPT 1 2019

Other books by author Steve Hodel:


  1. Bud White on August 15, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Just ordered my copy. Looking forward to another fascinating investigation.

    • Steve Hodel on August 15, 2019 at 8:48 pm

      Bud W: Thanks. Hope you enjoy it. Came out of nowhere really thanks to an alert reader, who said, “Hey, might want to check this out.” And a few years later, here we are. steve

  2. Luigi Warren on August 16, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Steve: Can’t wait to read the new book. Been checking out a few summaries of the case — very curious to see how you manage to make sense of this bizarre crime. Sounds like the killer had a female accomplice, which raises a lot of questions… -LW

    • Steve Hodel on August 16, 2019 at 2:14 am

      LW: Yes. You will see how it all comes together. A pretty quick read with over 100 photos/graphics. Steve

      • Luigi Warren on August 16, 2019 at 1:36 pm

        Steve: Strange that GHH bought himself a ’37 Packard sedan and christened it the “Tar Baby.” Or maybe that was just George being George. -LW

        • Steve Hodel on August 16, 2019 at 2:34 pm

          LW: Yes, not strange at all. It’s absolute GHH. Tarbaby is a roadside trap for passing victims. Perfect name for a Black sedan to kidnap/trap victims off the highways and city streets. NAMES were an important part of his psychopathy. skh

  3. Dan Lackey on August 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Steve,
    Didn’t either you or one of your brothers mention the “tar baby” cartoon to GHH & he thought it would be a good idea to name the car such?

    • Steve Hodel on August 16, 2019 at 4:51 pm

      Dan L: No, we saw the full-length Disney movie Song of the South (1946) back then, and dad named his car “Tar Baby” and as kids, we thought that was cool, but not at our suggestion. His own “creation.” Of course, it would be another sixty-years before I would make the connection to it being his “kidnap vehicle.”
      See 2016 blog/link below:

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