I’m so happy to welcome back Lynn McPherson whose latest book, The Girls Dressed for Murder, released on August 31. It’s the third book in the Izzy Walsh mystery series. Here’s a bit about the book:
When Izzy gets a killer dress for her birthday, she isn’t expecting to accessorize it with murder…
It’s 1958 in the cozy coastal town of Twin Oaks and amateur sleuth Isabelle Walsh is armed with a fresh perspective, two years after tragedy strikes. The first stop on her journey back to joy is the best little dress shop in town—introduced to her by best friend and fashion fiend, Ava Russell. Izzy falls in love with the store and its style. So, when the boutique is marred by murder, Izzy wants to help. But with more suspects to choose from than a spring collection, she isn’t sure where to start.
Can Izzy unravel the twisted truth or will she become the victim of a deadly trend? Find out in the third book in the Izzy Walsh Mystery Series!
The 1950’s were a time of change in America. There were new suburbs, new cars, and new problems. As a cozy mystery writer, I like to focus on the positive (with the exception of murder, of course!). So when I began doing research for the Izzy Walsh series, I realized the best source for my stories would be found in the popular magazines and movies of the day.
I spent countless hours perusing through mid-century issues of Life Magazine, which Google kindly posted online. Looking through the articles, photos, and advertisements was a great way for me to get into the mindset of my characters. Television shows and movies were wonderful, too. I was drawn to films like Roman Holiday and Rear Window because they indicated a demand for strong female leads, as well as an appreciation of glamour. Perhaps my favourite character from the Silver Screen was Dorothy Shaw, played by the fabulous Jane Russell, in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Some of her lines had me laughing out loud. What I achieved by delving into all the pop culture of the 1950’s was a better sense of who my characters were and what they did for fun.
The sense of kinship between women was also something I picked up on and tried to convey in my stories. Protagonist Izzy Walsh, and her best friend, Ava Russell, have a tight-knit bond featured in the books. Loyalty, compassion, and humor are a few of the key elements of the friendship. One episode of I Love Lucy showcasing the relationship of Lucy and Ethel is a perfect example of this unmistakable trend. My books are not an accurate portrayal of the real day-to-day life in the 1950’s but more of a domestic fantasy—a break from the reality of hard times, meant strictly to entertain and lighten one’s mood.
Readers, do you have a favourite character from a classic Hollywood film? Who is it and why do like them?
Bio: Lynn McPherson has worked for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, ran a small business, and taught English across the globe. She has travelled the world solo, where her daring spirit has led her to jump out of airplanes, dive with sharks, and learn she would never master a surfboard. Lynn serves on the Crime Writers of Canada Board of Directors, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. You can find her at http://www.lynnmcpherson.net
Welcome to the blog, Lynn! I love that you’re writing a series set firmly in the cozy genre but set in a historical period. My Hollywood film star has to be Katherine Hepburn.
Hi Edith! Thanks for your support. And Katherine Hepburn–I agree, she’s absolutely fabulous!
Hi, Lynn! The books sound great. With all the changes post-war, it is probably great fodder for plots.
Hi Liz, thanks so much. It’s definitely a fun time period to write about–and you’re right. I find with all the changes taking place, there’s so many stories that can be told!
A big thank you to Sherry Harris and the rest of the Wickeds for having me on as a guest today. I love this site and am so excited to be included in a space that has so many great writers!!
I love Audrey Hepburn and i especially loved Funny Face — the clothes, Fred Astaire, Paris. What’s not to love?!!!
Roman Holiday is a movie I can watch over and over. Rome? Paris? Yes, please!!!
We are happy to have you. Congratulations on the new book!
Thanks so much, Sherry!!
Your book sounds wonderful, Lynn! I don’t watch many movies, but your post has certainly made me want to look into a few. I did see a remake of Rear Window, and the original has been on my list to watch forever.
Hi Marla, thanks so much! Grace Kelly and James Stewart in Rear Window are excellent. The fashion alone makes it well worth a watch.
When I think of pop culture in the 50’s, my mind doesn’t go to movies but I Love Lucy. Still love that show and still laugh at it when I watch it.
I Love Lucy is a classic. It’s still hilarious. I just love all the ridiculous situations Lucy and Ethel get themselves into.
Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. A close second: Nigel Bruce and Dr. Watson.
I haven’t seen those ones but I’ll definitely check them out–thanks for the tip!
Hi, Lynn – Your book sounds like a lot of fun – for sure more fun than the real 1950s with all the constraints on women. I love that element of kinship among women too. .
Thanks Jayne. I suppose my books could almost be considered a domestic fantasy?!
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