Karen’s Killer Book Bench: SLICK DEAL, A Skylar Drake Mystery by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger

 読書KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!


A Skylar Drake Mystery


On the eve of the New Year, 1956, oil tycoon, Oliver Wright dies suspiciously at a swanky Hollywood New Years Eve party. Some think it was suicide.

His death is soon followed by threats against the rest of his family.

Private Investigator Skylar Drake and his partner Casey Dolan are hired by an L.A. gangster to protect the family and solve Oliver’s mysterious death.

Clues lead them to Avalon, on Santa Catalina Island, a Hollywood movie star playground.

A high profile scandal, mysterious women, treason and more deaths complicate matters, putting Drake and his partner in danger.

Twenty-three miles may not seem far away but false identity and corruption on this island could squash their efforts to answer the question—How in the world can a dead man commit suicide?


A Skylar Drake Mystery

The SS Catalina

A great legacy

My husband, Will Zeilinger and I co-write the Skylar Drake Murder Mystery series, a hardboiled series that takes the reader to 1950s Los Angeles and other areas of the west. Our new book, Slick Deal, begins News Year’s Eve 1956 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, The first murder and clues lead to Avalon, Catalina.

Between 1924 and 1975, the S.S. Catalina carried about 25 million passengers between Los Angeles and Avalon Harbor. Among its famous passengers were Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, Hollywood celebrities include: actor Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Lee Marvin and many of the great musicians of the Big Band era.

In our research we found reference to people in Avalon gathering at the docks to sing as passengers stepped off the ship. Young boys and girls swam to meet the ship as it entered the harbor, catching coins and dollars in mid air that passengers tossed off the ship. It took about two hours to sail the channel to Avalon Harbor, a romantic journey to a romantic place.

By the early 1970s, newer smaller, faster vessels made it difficult for the Big white Steamship to compete for passenger traffic, and she was retired from passenger service in 1975. The S.S. Catalina was purchased at auction for $70,000 by real estate developer Hymie Singer. He bought the ship as a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife and the steamship was moved for several years between Newport Beach, San Diego, Santa Monica Bay and Long Beach. At one point, there was a proposal for the Catalina to ferry tourists up the Nile River, but her 21 feet of draft was too deep for the river.

In 1985, Singer moved the ship to Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, where she became the focus of a series of unsuccessful business ventures, including a floating discothèque and the Catalina Bar and Grill. In late 1997, the Catalina escaped its moorings and became stuck on a sandbar in Ensenada Harbor. The Catalina remained half-submerged and stuck in the mud in the harbor. After years of neglect, the Catalina was badly decayed and rusted, and had been stripped by looters and vandals.

In January 2009 it was announced that the ship would be cut up for scrap, which has been completed. A very sad ending to a great legacy.

We couldn’t use the Great White Steamer in our story because the steamer operated during the summer only in 1956, Slick Deal takes place in January.

SLICK DEAL is the fourth on the series…and yes we are still married!


Meet Author Janet Elizabeth & Will Zeilinger…

Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn write individually until they got together and created the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. 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, SLICK DEAL will be available April 16, 2018 and yes…we are still married!


Links to Janet & Will’s website, blog, books, etc.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2qR7oBY

Website: Janet Elizabeth Lynn

Website: Will Zeilinger


SPECIAL GIVEAWAY!! Janet and Will are giving away an ebook copy of SLICK DEAL to two lucky readers who comment on their Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.

Thanks, Janet & Will, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

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9 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench: SLICK DEAL, A Skylar Drake Mystery by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger

  1. Karen Docter says:

    Good morning, Janet & Will, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I really enjoyed your notes on the SS Catalina. I bet it was a fun trip. I would have made it! Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

  2. Kathleen Bylsma says:

    Although not my cuppa, this sounds interesting. The background work is impressive and nice to meet both of you! Thanks Karen and the Zeilingers!

  3. Betty Gracie says:

    Looks like a great book.

  4. janet lynn says:

    Thank you, Kathleen. The research on all our books is always a lot of fun. By visiting the area and interviewing locals we find amazing encounters and adventures. Plus the characters I meet give me great ideas.

  5. bn100 says:

    interesting info

  6. janet lynn says:

    1956 was a lot of fun to research, i.e., the clothes, music, films, lifestyle, everything just came together to make it a wonderful era.

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