Friday, January 15, 2016

GUEST POST: Michael Murphy, Author of The Yankee Club and All That Glitters

One of the most common questions I receive about my writing is how did I come to write a historical mystery series set in the 1930’s. People have heard about the Depression, the Dust Bowls, soup kitchens and breadlines and are surprised I would attempt to write a witty, sophisticated mystery series.

The thirties were tough times. Lives, careers and hopes were shattered by The Great Depression as unemployment soared to twenty-five percent of the workforce.

Prohibition had proven to be a noble but failed experiment leading to the rise of organized crime. Gangsters such as Al Capone, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow achieved wealth and notoriety. 

The Great Depression caused an immense void between those with wealth and those who struggled to find food, shelter and employment. Those with money battled to keep their wealth and power. The void led people respond to extreme politicians who promised to right the world’s wrong; Nazis and Communists in Europe and America.

The public longed for heroes and found them in Cole Porter, Amelia Earhart, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, boxers James Braddock and Joe Louis, movie stars like William Powell, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable and Shirley Temple.

In Hollywood, the thirties are now referred to as Hollywood’s Golden Age, the rise of talking
pictures and the pre-code era that produced so many naughty and bawdy movies. The golden age of mysteries included this decade with writers such as Dashiell Hammett, Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie produced some of their classic novels during these years

I believe readers of historical fiction enjoy their fictional heroes interacting with historical figures. The thirties presented a perfect opportunity to take readers along on a journey into these fascinating times and interesting people; the bright lights and dark alleys of New York and the glamour and glitz of Tinsel town.

In my Jake and Laura mystery series, readers will get to know Jake Donovan, a former detective turned mystery writer and Laura Wilson a Broadway actress with dreams of Hollywood. And they’ll journey back to New York City in The Yankee Club, the Golden Age of Hollywood in All That Glitters, and meet Amelia Earhart in the upcoming Jake and Laura mystery, Wings in the Dark.


Michael Murphy is a full time writer and part time urban chicken rancher in Arizona. He and his wife of over forty years recently adopted five children.


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