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A Skylar Drake Mystery
BY JANET ELIZABETH LYNN & WILL ZEILINGER
Skylar Drake is hired as a bodyguard for two young starlets. He delivers the actresses home after the Emmy Awards ceremony, but stumble onto the murder of Silver Brovor-Smith, the mother of one of their charges. He wonders why the FBI is on-scene for a simple murder.
Drake and his partner are now on the case as suspicion shifts between the victim’s husband and her three brothers.
Drake and Dolan are misled while kidnapping and mysterious deaths take them into the world of Hollywood backroom deals.
They must keep the high-profile family from becoming front page news.
Drake meets the perfect woman to help him move on, but is she a suspect?
The letters P-E-G-O seem to appear everywhere. He thinks they may be connected to the crimes.
Follow Skylar Drake to Hollywood parties where the forbidden is accepted and games played are for keeps.
The Mystery of Jeanne Martin
The Subway Baby
By Janet Elizabeth Lynn
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 scandals and unsolved mysteries that shocked and amazed us. Really, you can’t make this stuff up!
Jeanne began her search at the local library. She spent hours in front of the microfilm viewer, sifting through newspapers from 1955, the year of her birth. Jeanne was overwhelmed when she found the articles, and pictures. The newspapers had dubbed her “Miss Subway.” The account gave Jeanne a glimpse into her unknown past.
Witnesses report that a lonely young woman entered the subway station at Coney Island. The woman walked slowly and carried an old battered suitcase. She took a seat off to herself in the lead car. Several passengers recalled that the woman opened her suitcase while shielding it from view, and took something out of it. The woman then exited the train at the 4th stop, the Van Siclan Street Station. Seconds later passengers on the train heard an infant crying. There on the seat was Jeanne, no more than five days old, wrapped in a blanket, with a full bottle of milk tucked inside. The passengers were able to provide police with a vague description of the young mother, but no one had any idea who she was or why she had abandoned her baby.
The next day, the story was splashed across the front pages, dubbed “Miss Subway”. But Jeanne’s mother never came forward. Now, some 40 years later, Jeanne Martin is convinced her birth mother had her best interests at heart, choosing to leave her in a place where she was certain to be quickly found and turned over to the authorities. Today, Jeanne Martin’s birth mother would be around 75 years old. Jeanne is more than ready to meet her.
In my research, I have not been able to find out if she was ever able to locate her birth mother.
GAME TOWN is the fifth in the series and yes…we are still married!
Two o’clock in the morning. I’d just left the Emmy Awards ceremony at the NBC Television Studio in Burbank. All of Hollywood and its finest had shown up tonight to honor the best of television for 1956. The winners and losers were either at a party celebrating or hiding somewhere licking their wounds. I’d just left the event driving south on Cahuenga toward Hancock Park. My partner, Casey Dolan was in the passenger seat. It was pouring rain when we left Burbank. It seemed to be lessening as we headed away from the valley.
We’d been hired by Epic Studios to escort a couple of their up and coming starlets to and from the event. In truth, we were their bodyguards. The motion picture and TV studios weren’t taking chances with their human investments.
The two young ladies in the back seat were passed out cold. I suspected they’d had a little too much Champagne before and during the ceremony.
I drove through the Wilshire Boulevard entry gate and onto Fremont Place, one of the most exclusive and expensive neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Ahead we spotted a lot of activity on the street. Dolan sat up and stared at the mess ahead, “What the Hell?”
Several police cruisers and what looked like government cars were lined up in front of a house with their spotlights trained on it. As we got closer, I saw the address. 859 in brass letter,wattached to the beam above the front door – the address where I was to deliver the girls.
Dolan rolled down his window to get a better look. He pulled his head back inside and said, “You sure this is the right house?”
I parked at the opposite corner. Dolan said, “I’ll stay here and keep watch on the girls.”
I sprinted up the wet sidewalk and ducked under the yellow police tape. A uniformed cop approached me and held up his hand like a traffic cop. “Sorry, sir. This is a police investigation. You’ll have to step back.”
I showed him my PI license and explained that I was a bodyguard for the two young ladies in my car and that I was to deliver them to this address.
He took a look at my credentials and shook his head, “Sorry sir…”
I heard a familiar voice.
“Drake, over here!” I almost didn’t recognize FBI special agent Olivia Jahns. She looked like she’d just stepped off the red carpet, poured into a slinky black evening gown. She held up one side of her long gown and made her way over to me.
“That’s all right officer.” She said, “I’ll take it from here.” He turned away while I followed Jahns into the mansion.
“Olivia…er, Agent Jahns. What’s this all about?”
She glanced back at me and said, “You’ll see. Just follow me.”
I stopped. “I meant the dress, the hair and…”
She too stopped and took a breath. “Come on Drake. You’re wearing a tuxedo. I can have fun too.” She continued to the front door. “Right now, we have a problem.”
Inside, the body of a woman in a pure white coat with a white fur collar was sprawled on the hardwood floor at the foot of a marble staircase. Her light blonde hair and fur coat were soaked with blood. The handle of a knife protruded from her waist. I bent down for a closer look. The blood in her hair was plastered to her face. Her mouth and hands were clenched. I detected a strong odor by the body. It wasn’t cherry, but it was sweet.
“The victim’s name is Silver Brovor-Smith.” Jahns interrupted me as most FBI agents do. “She’s the mother of Holly Becker, one of the young ladies in your charge.”
Brovor?…Brovor. Why did that name sound familiar? It dawned on me, “The Toy company Brovor?” I could visualize the logo – a big red circle with black and white letters.
“Yep.” Jahns nodded. “You got it.”
My mind raced. I remembered a lawsuit from years ago between family members after their father passed away. The papers had a field day with the scandal. I stood and asked Jahns, “You sure about Holly’s lineage?”
“Yup, no doubt, Brovor. Since you’re in charge of her, I’ll leave it up to you to break the news to the soon-to-be grieving daughter.”
We looked out the front door. The press had already gathered on the front lawn. Radio and Television remote trucks had set up their lights and equipment while the newspaper photographer’s flashbulbs blinded us. The reporters didn’t help the chaos as the street in front of the house was already jammed with the Coroner’s truck, loads of police cars and an ambulance. It seemed dark on the street. I looked up and saw that the street light was out. Strange that would happen on Fremont Place.
Jahns looked at me. “Why are you still here Drake?”
I headed for the door. It was late, and my brain had stopped working hours ago.
The two starlets came running past me, “No!” Holly yelled when she saw her mother’s body on the floor.
Theresa, the other young lady, shouted, “Oh my God. Oh my God!” She struggled to join her friend Holly, but Dolan had his hands full, holding her back from the scene.
“What are you doing here?” I yelled over the two young women’s screams. “You were supposed to keep them in the car.”
“Hey!” Dolan said, “There are two of them and only one of me.”
I took Holly by the shoulders and turned her away from the bloody scene. I hoped to say something comforting to her when she looked toward the stairway.
“What did you do to her?” Holly shouted at an older man wearing a white tuxedo coming down the stairs. Holly broke away from me and ran toward him. She began kicking and punching him, screaming, “What did you do to her!”
Several officers pulled her away, but she continued kicking and flailing, “You killed her!”
Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn write 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, GAME TOWN, the fifth and final book in the series, will be available April 15, 2019 and yes…we are still married!
Links to Janet & Will’s website, blog, books, etc.
Website: Janet Elizabeth Lynn
Website: Will Zeilinger
Thanks, Janet and Will, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!