Writer Sets Murder Mystery in Burbank

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Jane DiLucchio, Division Chair of Continuing Education Business and Life Skills at the Garfield campus, has recently had her first novel published, a lesbian murder mystery titled “Relationships Can Be Murder.” It was released earlier this year by New Victoria Publishers.

The inspiration for this novel came to DiLucchio five years ago, while she was doing jury duty for the third time. The two previous times she had served on a jury, she was assigned to murder trials.
Waiting in the jury room, which she called a generally a mind-numbing experience, she started thinking: “Now why would somebody kill somebody else? Not a random killing. And I came up with the idea of secrets. That if you had a secret that was vital to you, you might kill somebody else to protect that secret.”

Thus the basis of “Relationships” was formed. The novel focuses on the relationship of the main character, Dee DelValle, and her three friends, as they try to solve the murder of a famous TV newscaster, a crime for which Dee DalValle herself is implicated as the prime suspect.

In “Relationships” everybody keeps secrets, even from their friends and lovers, until someone decides that one particular secret is so important that someone is willing to kill for it.

This is not DiLucchio’s first writing attempt. She first wrote a romance novel about 10 years ago. She had a scene that kept playing in her head, so she finally wrote it down and it became the basis for that book. In fact, the scene ended up being a whole chapter in the romance novel.

DiLucchio did not even think of trying to get her first novel published. It was just for her and her friends to read. What she did find out though, was that she was capable of writing a book. And even though it took her five years to write “Relationships Can Be Murder” (she was writing only part-time) it seems to have been worth it.

She says she is pleased with reviews she has received.

Residents of the Burbank/Glendale area may recognize some of the locations Dee DelValle visits, because she lives in Burbank.

“Dee jogs around Lake Hollywood, and up and down Clark Street-on the new Chandler bike way and she teaches in Glendale Unified [School District],” said DiLucchio.

DiLucchio herself has been a resident of Burbank for the past 19 years and lives with Sue, her partner of 18 years and their two cats, Murphy and Shania.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts at Occidental College and did her graduate work in education with a specialty in math at Cal State L.A.

She has been a professor here at GCC for 18 years and, prior to that, taught at Bret Harte Elementary School in Burbank, where she began her teaching career.

DiLucchio now teaches at the continuing education campus at the developmental skills lab, teaching general education prep courses, mainly math and science.

“I love teaching people, adults, who have hated math all their lives and have not had success with math. It’s so much fun when they begin to see that math can make sense and it’s not this horrendous, difficult, overwhelming, negative experience,” said DiLucchio.

In fact, she says, a student recently came up to her and said that they had never understood a math problem until she explained it to him. “And that’s better than any award you can ever get — when a student that has not had success with math really has that break through.”

As division chair, she doesn’t get to teach as much as she use to, and while she does miss it, she hopes her position enables her to help “advocate for all of our students and make a bigger impact on a lot more students than just the students in my classroom.”

She is currently working on two more novels. One is a sequel to “Relationships” and the other is another murder mystery set in Santa Barbara and has no connection to “Relationships.”

She will be doing several book signings in October for “Relationships Can Be Murder.”

The first one was on Oct. 1 at Mystery and Imagination Bookstore.

DiLucchio was there with two other authors, Taffy Cannon author of “Paradise Lost” and Steven Schindler author of “From Here To Reality”, and they all did readings from their books and answered questions.

There is another book signing on Oct. 8 at A Different Light Bookstore in West Hollywood, at 8853 Santa Monica Blvd.

For more information and to find out where “Relationships Can Be Murder” is sold, readers can go to www.janedilucchio.com.