Michael Wallace
Former Pajaronian editor Michael Wallace has released a new installment of his ongoing mystery novel series. — Photo by Chip Scheuer

​​Former Pajaronian editor to sign books

In 1971, three men pulled off a daring robbery of an armored car in the Central Valley and escaped with more than $200,000. They were never caught, and the money was never traced.

Three decades later, a retired insurance investigator, who worked for the company that insured the armored car and its contents, is reviewing the case, one of the few that got away from him. He sees something in the files and realizes he missed its importance at the time. Needing some undercover help to sound out one of the suspects through a fly-fishing club at a lakeside village in the Sierra Nevada, he brings in Quill Gordon and his friend Peter Delaney to help move his re-investigation forward.

That’s the premise of “Two of Them Are Dead,” the 11th mystery novel by former Pajaronian editor Mike Wallace, who writes as Michael Wallace. The title comes from the Chinese proverb, “Three people can keep a secret, but only if two of them are dead.”

A book-signing, Wallace’s first since the pandemic began, will be held Sept. 30 from 1-3pm at Kelly’s Books, 1838 Main St. in Watsonville. Wallace will also be signing copies of his three pandemic-era books, “True to You in My Way” (2020), “Hatchback Blondie” (2021), and “Rush a Gun” (2022).

“The latest book posed its own set of challenges, as every book does,” Wallace said. “This one raised questions of how do you break an airtight 30-year-old alibi? How would three ordinary guys launder over $200,000 so well that no one noticed or suspected? And even if you figured those things out, what, if anything, could be done to the perps 30 years later, when the statute of limitations has expired?”

In addition to the story and the investigation, Wallace said, the book adds new chapters in the lives of its running characters.

“Over the course of 11 books, the characters have changed and grown,” he said. “In this book, both Gordon and Peter are looking at major life events, and that provides an undercurrent throughout the story.”

“In fact,” he added, “I’ve been telling my friends that the biggest mystery in the book isn’t the one Gordon and Peter are trying to solve. But you’ll have to read it for yourself to see what I mean.”

Holocaust survivor to speak at Rotary

Gitta Ryle, one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors, will discuss her World War II experiences at the Rotary Club of Watsonville, while giving a presentation during the club’s weekly meeting at the Elks Lodge on Martinelli Street on Oct. 4. 

The meeting will start at 12:30pm. Interested guests are welcome to attend.

Wetlands Watch to host annual plant sale

Watsonville Wetlands Watch will host its Annual Fall Native Plant Sale on Oct. 7 from 9am-1pm at the Fitz Wetland Educational Resource Center at Pajaro Valley High School, 500 Harkins Slough Road in Watsonville. The sale will feature native and drought tolerant plant species, grown by interns, volunteers and staff, that attract birds, bees and butterflies and help save water.

Hundreds of plants spanning three dozen species will be available for purchase. Guests will be able to tour an on-site native plant demonstration garden at the Resource Center. 

For information and to view the list of available plants, visit watsonvillewetlandswatch.org.

Proceeds from the plant sale support Wetlands Watch’s on-going wetlands restoration and education programs in Watsonville.

After-school program combines soccer with poetry

The nonprofit America SCORES Bay Area has expanded into Watsonville. 

The organization offers an after-school program that combines soccer, poetry and service learning to nine elementary and middle schools in Watsonville, partnering with the Pajaro Valley School District.

America SCORES is also working with the County Parks Friends and other community organizations to offer activities, including field trips to the beach, San Jose Earthquakes game outings, and movie time showings at each school site.

For information, visit americascoresbayarea.org.

Schools announce meal-serving policy amendments

Ceiba Public Schools recently announced an amendment to its policy for serving meals to students under the National School Lunch / School Breakfast Programs for the 2023-2024 school year. 

All students will be served lunch and breakfast at no charge at Ceiba College Prep Academy, 260 West Riverside Drive in Watsonville.

For information, contact Shelly Perez, food service manager, at 740.8773 or [email protected].

Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz also announced an amendment to its meal policy under the National School Lunch / School Breakfast Programs for the 2023-2024 school year. All students will be served lunch and breakfast at no charge at the school, 3004 Mission St.

For information, contact Avis Durden, food service manager, at 479.7785 or [email protected].

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


  1. ask Mike Wallace to return as editor of the Pajaronian. that would improve newspaper news coverage.

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