Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger write a mystery series called the Skylar Drake Murder Mysteries. Janet is visiting today to talk about their latest book and the research that led them to this mystery. Welcome, Janet!
My husband Will Zeilinger and I co-write the Skylar Drake Murder Mysteries, a hardboiled detective series that takes the reader to 1950s Los Angeles and other areas of the West. Our new book, GAME TOWN, is set in Hollywood and exposes a scandal that rocks the Toy Companies in Los Angeles.
While doing in-depth research into 1950s Hollywood, we came across news that amazed us! The Mocambo Club was a popular club and an intricate part of 1950s Hollywood night life. Because of its popularity, we had to have a scene there in the book!
The Mocambo Club in West Hollywood, California
When the Mocambo Club opened on January 3, 1941, at 8588 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, California, and was an immediate success. The club’s Latin American-themed decor, designed by Tony Duquette, cost $100,000 (equivalent to $1,663,801 in 2017). Along the walls were glass cages holding live cockatoos, macaws, seagulls, pigeons, parrots, and colorful pillars through the club.
With big band music, the club became one of the most popular dinner and dance-till-dawn spots in town. A trip to the club on any night, might treat you to a room filled with the leading actors: men and women of the motion picture and television industry. In 1943, Frank Sinatra made his Los Angeles debut at the Mocambo Club.
The club’s main stage was replicated on the TV series I Love Lucy as the “Tropicana” Club. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were frequent guests at the Mocambo and were close friends of proprietor, Charlie Morrison.
Early in 1957, club operator and co-owner Charlie Morrison died at his Beverly Hills, California, home. The Mocambo remained in business for one final year, before closing its doors on June 30, 1958. The building was then sold, reopened as a supper club called The Cloister, and was eventually demolished.
Watch the Bugs Bunny Cartoon “Slick Hare” for comedic scenes at the Mocambo (notice the background) Go to: https://vimeo.com/69975085
Skylar Drake and his partner are hired as bodyguards for two young starlets. They deliver the actresses home after the Oscar Awards ceremony, but stumble onto the murder of Silver Brovor-Smith, the mother of one of their charges, actress Holly Becker. Drake wonders why the FBI is on the scene when it looks like a simple case of murder. Drake is now embroiled in the murder investigation of Silver Brovor-Smith. Suspicion shifts between her husband Peter Smith, and Silver’s three older brothers.
At every turn Drake and Dolan are lied to or misled. Kidnapping and mysterious deaths follow them as they weave their way through the maze of Hollywood’s movie and TV backroom deals. The FBI shows up to make sure Drake and Dolan keep the high-profile people involved from becoming front page news.
Drake meets and falls in love with Miss Anne the perfect woman to help him move on with his life. But is she a suspect? Then there is Holly’s friend, the sexy, young starlet Theresa Lee who has her own plans for him. The letters P-E-G-O seem to appear everywhere, and Drake wonders if they have anything to do with Silver’s murder or her husband’s kidnapping.
Follow the detective to Hollywood parties where the forbidden is accepted and the games played are for keeps.
Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger
Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn wrote individually until they got together and created the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1956-57. Janet has published seven mystery novels and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and live in Southern California.
The next Skylar Drake Mystery, fourth in the series, GAME TOWN will be available April 15, 2019 and yes…we are still married!