Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Janet Elizabeth Lynn back Mystery Mondays. She’s got some great advice and if you scroll down, you’ll get to read an expert for Game Town! Happy reading.
Ending a Novel Series
The Episodic Series by
Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger
My husband, Will Zeilinger and I co-write the Skylar Drake 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 industry in Los Angeles. GAME TOWN is the fifth and final book of the series.
Some people confuse “Story-arc series” with “Episodic Series”. Though they each tell a story and must have interesting plots, and characters, they differ.
A story-arc series tells one collective story in several books. So the reader needs to read the books in succession in order to enjoy the full plot.
Episodic series is when the main characters live through unconnected stories, plots and sub plots. In other words each book stands alone. The reader can pick up any book in the series and enjoy the story.
The Skylar Drake Mystery series is an episodic series following Skylar Drake as he investigates crime in 1950s Los Angeles. Though each book stands alone, there is a common thread that runs through the entire series. Who killed Sky’s beautiful wife, Claire, and his little girl, Ellie.
When, in this book, we had to face the finality of what really happened that killed both of them, we were brought to tears.
After five year of him searching and gathering evidence of the now cold case, he have answers.
I’m not going to give the plot away, but it made sense to tie up this loose end and give the reader answers to Sky’s five year struggle.
We became depressed and saddened, not because the novel series ended but because the crescendo has ended and Skylar Drake and his cohorts needed to move on. We had to be sure all the character had satisfying endings- not happy mind you, but endings so everything worked out.
Will there be a spin off or a sequel? For now we have no plans for another book in this series. But this doesn’t mean it will never happen.
GAME TOWN is the fifth in the series and yes…we are still married!
Website: Janet Elizabeth Lynn http://www.janetlynnauthor.com
Website: Will Zeilinger http://www.willzeilingerauthor.com
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.
Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger
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!
Janet Elizabeth Lynn
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!”