My Golden Age story Cue Murder is FREE to read in A Stab in the Dark: Cons, Dames and G-Men
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…
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.
It will also be FREE to readers as from today on Smashwords:
also available elsewhere including Amazon
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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:
GoodReads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/JaneRisdon
I’m on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon
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.