THE HOLLYWOOD MURDER MYSTERIES
My two passions are writing murder mysteries and classic movies and
after I retired from the television business and several years goofing off on
golf courses, I returned to my typewriter (now a computer) and sat down to
write a novel involving my two loves. The time 1947.The place Hollywood.
My hero, Joe Bernardi, returning veteran , who is hired to handle publicity at a
threadbare studio . Fictional. I was in no mood to deal with a traditional cop, gumshoe or lawyer and to the best of my knowledge no one had made a protagonist out of a press agent. The result was "Jezebel in Blue Satin", designed to be a one-shot. Halfway through I realized I might have something bigger on my hands.
All the characters, save one, are fictional but on a whim I wrote a scene with
Gail Russell in it, a beautiful star of the 1940's.
The book turned out well and I got an unexpected Honorable Mention from
the San Francisco Book Festival even though I never "entered" any competition,
Thus encouraged, I started on a sequel "We Don't Need No Stinking Badges".
Joe has been hired by Warner Brothers and one of his first assignments is to fly to
Tampico, Mexico, get Bogart out of jail and soft pedal a bar brawl. Now , with
"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" as the background, I concoct a murder mystery in which the making of the movie is front and center and I write scenes for Bogart, John Huston, Tim Holt,Walter Huston, Ann Sheridan and several fictional characters who will become regulars in subsequent volumes.
Number Three is "Love Has Nothing to Do With It", set in L.A.. as Warners
produces "White Heat" with James Cagney, Edmond O'Brien,and Virginia Mayo .
I start to plant seeds for arcs that will continue through subsequent books although everything is explained concisely in each book and you can read Number Eight with no trouble having not read anything that preceded it. Joe has been divorced from his wartime bride, finds a new love, they split up, he searches everywhere for her, Joe tries his hand at a novel and finds it's been plagiarized. He quits Warners and goes into a partnership with a well-known personal manager and becomes a millionaire in the process. Along the way he rubs elbows to a greater or lesser extent with iconic stars like Marlon Brando, Jane Wyman, Ronald Reagan, Doris Day, Ernest Borgnine, Karl Malden, Montgomery Clift, Alfred Hitchcock, Elia Kazan, and dozens and dozens of others. Like "Murder She Wrote", gore is not an element in these mysteries but twists and turns abound with a lot of page-turning fun. Because they occur from 1947 to the '60s, they will be frozen in time and never become "dated". I can envision them selling for years and years . Aside from the aforementioned, the movies used as backgrounds for the mysteries include The Glass Menagerie, Streetcar Named Desire, The Winning Team, I Confess, Marty, Giant, The High and the Mighty, Jailhouse Rock, Touch of Evil, Some Like It Hot, Murder Inc., Pocketful of Miracles, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Birds.
Peter Fischer creates a wonderfully entertaining new mystery series with "Jezebel in Blue Satin"
Foreword Reviews Magazine
Creator and Executive Producer of
"Murder, She Wrote"
and Author of
"The Hollywood Murder Mysteries"