My Golden Age story Cue Murder is FREE to read in A Stab in the Dark: Cons, Dames and G-Men

Lupe Velez

Lupe Velez

It started like any other day. The early morning studio call came far too early, as it always did, and as Maxwell Murphy walked across the lot to Stage 58 in the cool crisp Hollywood air, the heat of the sun still to reach his skin, he silently rehearsed the lines he’d learned the night before. He wasn’t the first to arrive, the grips had been there for an hour already and so had many others who worked on the technical side of movie making. Sleepy actors – those needed for the first takes, the effects of their various narcotics – barbiturates or booze, still clouding their eyes and their brains, wandered in and made straight for the coffee and smokes.

But it wasn’t like any other day. Maxwell knew there would never be a day like any other day ever again, as he recalled what changed an ordinary days filming into an unforgettable day; a day when part of him died…

A Stab in the Dark: Cons, Dames and G-Men FREE to read


It’s always exciting to be asked to take part in an Anthology 

I love reading and writing short stories and any excuse to pen one, I am there.

And, if it has anything remotely to do with Crime, well, try to stop me.

I must say writing a crime story this time has proved a  bit of a challenge as it had to be set in the 1930/1940’s with a nod to the Golden Age of Detection; an era I love reading about but have never tried to write….until now.

The anthology is the brain child of author Adam Mitchell and features the short stories of 7  authors.

Image may contain: text

It will also be FREE to readers as from today on Smashwords:

also available elsewhere including Amazon

and Kobo:


Barnaby Rogers PI and the Case of the Singing Canary: Cue Murder



Adam Mitchell’s anthology is called ‘A Stab in the Dark: Cons, Dames and G Men.’

I’ve called my story ‘Cue Murder.’

 I have set it in the late 1930’s in Hollywood – anyone who knows me cannot have failed to know that I love that era…the movies, the fashions and the music for starters.

Hollywood Boulevard 1930's

Hollywood Boulevard 1930’s

 Researching the dialogue, the street names – some of which have changed with time, and the restaurants and bars which were there during that era, has been sheer heaven, and researching the Movie studios and the lives of the stars has been so exciting.

Greenblatt’s Deli is somewhere I’ve spent many happy times enjoying their food when I’ve been in Hollywood, and it was there in the 1930’s and features in my story too.

Greenblatt's Deli in the 1930's. Unkown Copyright.

Greenblatt’s Deli in the 1930’s.

This has been such an enjoyable experience.

My story is about a young movie star called Allis Blondell who is found dead in her bungalow on the lot of the movie in which she is co-starring with Maxwell Murphy, who plays Barnaby Rogers, PI.

The movie is called Barnaby Rogers PI: The Case of the Singing Canary.

Some years ago when researching family history (on my husband’s side) I’d touched on Hollywood in the 1930’s when looking into the life of an aunt of his, the actress Elizabeth Risdon.

Elizabeth Risdon 1918

Elizabeth Risdon 1918

Elizabeth Risdon

Elizabeth Risdon

She was born in England in 1887 and was a star of the stage before heading for the movies in America.

A Broadway actress she ventured into the Silent movies.

She starred in 1913 in Maria Marten, the Mystery of the Red Barn, and was one of the few Silent Era actresses who successfully made the move into ‘talkies,’ which many stars failed to do.

I  can’t help thinking about the movie ‘Singing in the Rain,’ and the story of the silent movie actress in that – fiction but reflecting what happened during the exciting days of ‘talkies.’.

Elizabeth Risdon had over 140 movies under her belt by the time she died in Santa Monica in 1958.

Some of the other movies she starred in – for those who are curious:

1939 – The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn (Widow Douglas) with Mickey Rooney.

Elizabeth Risdon in Huckleberry Finn 1939 with Mickey Rooney.

1939 – The Girl from Mexico (and the Mexican Spitfire series) (Aunt Della Lindsay) with Lupe Velez.

1938 – Mad About the Music, a musical, (Annette Fusenot) with Deanna Durbin.

1942 – Reap the Wild Wind (Mrs Claiborne) with John Wayne.

1952 – Scaramouche (Isabella de Valmorin) with Stewart Granger.

Elizabeth Risdon 1941

Elizabeth Risdon 1941

With all this research, used mainly for Family History purposes, I had dipped my toe into the life and times of movie stars of the era and one in particular,

Lupe Velez, who was known as The Mexican Spitfire,

The Mexican Spitfire

The Mexican Spitfire

and with whom my husband’s aunt appeared many times in her movies.

Lupe Velez has inspired my story, ‘Cue Murder,’ because of the manner in which she died,

but actually my story about Allis Blondell is nothing like hers.

I won’t give any more away – you will have to read it.

If you download a copy do leave your thoughts on Smashwords, Kobo, Amazon and the other places this anthology is available, so we can have some feedback, and do please, let me know here.

We all love to know we are not working in vain.

If you ever get chance to watch any of the movies I mentioned do let me know what you think of them, and do look out for Elizabeth Risdon

Lupe Velez

Lupe Velez

 I hope you enjoyed the extract of Cue Murder and that it inspires you to want to read more of my story and the others included in A Stab in the Dark: Cons Dames and G Men.

If this has interested you inmy writing, you can find more of my work on my Amazon Author Page:

and on

GoodReads Page:

I’m on Twitter:  


Authors included in this anthology are:

100 Miles to Murder – Matthew L. Schoonover

Cue Murder – Jane Risdon

Dark at the Top of the Stairs – Elizabeth Noreen Newton

Sorry Vivian – Neal Skye

The Mickey – Paul Newton

Well I Die Tomorrow – Adam C. Mitchell

Deadly Steps – Stacey Margaret Allan


All photos are in the public domain apart from the covers for A Stab in the Dark.

Coming November 2017

Only One Woman

published by Accent Press

and written by me and my life-long friend Christina Jones.

If you dig music, fashion and the late 1960s and can recall the Moon landings, the assassination of  Robert Kennedy, and more, this is the book for you.



    • I am so sorry, went to check and the editor of the book has taken it down as there is some sort of a glitch, no idea what. He is working on it and hope that it will be back asap. So sorry for the inconvenience. Out of my hands. Thanks for looking and fingers crossed when it is back you will return. Les, oh dreary me indeed. lol. xx


Please leave a reply and comment - your input is really appreciated. Thanks, Jane

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