UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE CLOSED! THE WINNERS ARE
MARLA B & AUTUMN TREPANI
The first time I met Laurie, aka L.A., Chandlar was at the Toronto Bouchercon. She and I were on a panel that had decided to act out scenes from each other’s books. It was a lot of fun, terrifying, and a bonding experience for us all. Since then I’ve loved following Laurie’s publication path. Her series is so much fun, and takes place during a really interesting time. But let her tell you more about that.
Enjoying 1930s New York City Today
by L.A. Chandlar
The more the city changes, the more it stays the same. Despite towering sky scrapers going up in every direction, there are so many side streets where if you swapped out the cars and fashion, it could be any era.
I love that about big cities, but specifically New York. In The Art Deco Mystery Series, I bring in many real places that were around in the late 1930s and are still here today. I love to write things that help you experience an era, a place, perhaps get to witness events that we can only hear about in a bland textbook. Today, I’m going to show you some of my favorite places in my books that you can you still go to today. Thanks for joining me!
The first is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, built in 1872. I have many scenes that take place there in all three books. I love the soaring main entrance and on Fridays and Saturdays the museum is open late. They have a live classical band playing on the second floor rotunda looking down on the entrance where they also happen to have a wine bar. I give a tour of the locations in my book and then a little talk on the colorful and interesting 1930 America Today mural by Thomas Hart Benton.
In The Pearl Dagger, a favorite scene happens at Ophelia Lounge. In the 1920s, it was a women-only lounge, but later in the thirties, they opened it up for men. Lane takes Finn there one night after a sleuthing engagement at the El Morocco. The place was refurbished recently and gives you quite a taste of Art Deco charm. It’s at the top of the Beekman Building on First Avenue at 49th and offers three-sixty views around the city, a gorgeous bar, and divine velvet settees and vintage cocktails.
In all three books, Bryant Park is a favorite place. I took some artistic liberty to make it an amalgam of today and 1930s. If you’re in the mood for Thanksgiving and Christmas, book 2 The Gold Pawn takes place during that season and features Bryant Park’s Winter Village full of little shops, eateries, ice skating, a large Christmas tree and my favorite: Southwest Grill at the west side of the park. It’s an outdoor restaurant –even in winter—with fire pits placed around where you can roast marshmallows and chestnuts under the stars.
If you really want to feel like you’re going back in time, you can visit the place where I held my book launch party. The speakeasy called UES is on Second Avenue between 88th and 89th streets. The outside is a diminutive and functional ice cream shop. “Storage” is the speakeasy behind the walls. And it’s gorgeous. They have vintage cocktails and an incredibly artful interior with brick arches, booths, and loads of romance. With Sinatra playing in the background, it feels as if you’ve slipped back in time to another world.
To celebrate being on the Wickeds and that The Pearl Dagger just won Suspense Magazine’s highest honor of Crimson Scribe, the best book of 2019, I’m going to have a big giveaway! Enter by commenting on the blog and sharing on your Facebook. For each comment and each share, you’re entered to win (be sure to tag me -L.A. Chandlar- on Facebook). I’ll have TWO winners who will get a copy of The Pearl Dagger, fun swag including a silver dagger necklace, and Lane’s favorite chocolates.
Comment on the article or here are a couple of questions for you: Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do or see in New York? If you could go back in time to visit any era, what would it be?
Good luck and thanks for joining us!
Bio: L.A. Chandlar is the National Best-selling author of the Art Deco Mystery Series with Kensington Publishing. Book 3, The Pearl Dagger, is the winner of Suspense Magazine’s Crimson Scribe Award, best book of 2019. Laurie speaks for a variety of audiences including a women’s group with the United Nations.