Book Spotlight – “Desert Ice” by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger

Book Spotlight – “Desert Ice” by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger

Please welcome a fantastic author team this morning – Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger!

Published authors Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the SKYLAR DRAKE MURDER MYSTERY Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955.  Janet has published seven mystery novels and Will has three plus two short stories. Their world travels have sparked ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and live in Southern California.

Janet was born in Queens, New York and raised in Long Island, until she was 12 years old. Her family escaped the freezing winters and hurricanes for the warmth and casual lifestyle of So. California. She has traveled to the far reach of the planet ending with new found friends and a basket of hotel shampoo and conditioner samples.

Will is from Omaha, Nebraska, living in Turkey for 10 years before returning to the states with his family ending up in So. California on their way to Samoa. Go figure.

Follow them at their websites:

Janet Elizabeth Lynn http://www.janetlynnauthor.com/

Will Zeilinger http://www.willzeilingerauthor.com/

 

Their new book is DESERT ICE…

            In 1955, a missing Marine and stolen diamonds lead Private Eye Skylar Drake to Sin City, where the women are beautiful and almost everything is legal—except murder.

The FBI and a Las Vegas crime boss force him to choose between the right and wrong side of the law. All the while, government secrets, sordid lies and trickery block his efforts to solve the case.

Common sense tells him to go back to L.A. but is gut tells him to find his fellow Marine.

Buy link:  http://didrake.blogspot.com/

 

Here’s a culinary connection to the book – a recipe made popular in Las Vegas…

Las Vegas made Shrimp Cocktail popular in the western states in the 1950s. People would visit Sin City and return home with want the tasty shrimp. The Flamingo Hotel and Casino is featured in one of the scenes in DESERT ICE, a hard boiled murder Mystery.

SHRIMP COCKTAIL

for the shrimp:

8 cups (2 quarts) water

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 medium lemon, thinly sliced

3 fresh Italian parsley sprigs

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 pounds (21/25-count) shrimp, peeled except for the tails and deveined

 

for the cocktail sauce:

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup prepared horseradish

1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco

 

for the shrimp:

Combine everything except the shrimp in a 4-quart saucepan or pot over high heat and bring it to a boil.

Add the shrimp, stir, and remove the pan from the heat. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let sit until the shrimp are opaque and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels and set it aside.

When the shrimp are ready, drain them in a strainer set in the sink. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer, removing and discarding any solids from the poaching liquid that have stuck to the shrimp (discard the contents in the strainer as well). Let sit until cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes

Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Meanwhile, make the cocktail sauce.

 

for the cocktail sauce:

Stir all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Taste and season with more pepper as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. Serve the shrimp with the sauce for dipping.

 

Last, but definitely not least, here’s an except from the book!

          This was the first Veteran’s Day Parade I’d attended since I got back from Korea. Seems like a lifetime ago. Claire wanted to go every year, even offered to make it a family affair… I never took her up on it.

Standing at attention, I saluted as the color guard passed. Next came the tanks and trucks and I was transported back to my time in the Corps. A pretty young girl dressed in red, white, and blue approached me with a basket full of tin American flag lapel pins. She held one out to me. The paper tag attached to it read Veteran’s Day, November 1955, but my hands wouldn’t come out of my pockets.

“Here sir, take one, they’re free.”

I reluctantly pulled out my hand. She placed one in my palm, and smiled and turned away. The cadence of the drums sounded like artillery as a formation of jet fighters passed overhead. I was back in Korea on Jeju Island, snow, guns, bombs… I shut my eyes and clenched my fists.

A woman wearing a big hat bumped into me. “Oh, excuse me sir.”

Slowly I opened my hand. The sharp edges of the flag pin were stained with my blood but I didn’t feel a thing.

“You should get something for that hand,” she said.

I couldn’t move.

“Come.” She led me to a hot dog stand and handed me a couple of paper napkins.

I leaned against a chain link fence, wrapped the tin flag in a napkin and dropped it in my pocket. I looked down at my blood smeared hand, the one that took shrapnel at Jeju. My head spun. I leaned forward until my head rested on the fence. “Keep breathing,” I told myself.

“So you’re a vet,” the lady with the hat said. “Korea?”

I nodded.

She lit a cigarette. “Here.”

I shook my head. “No thanks.”

“Suit yourself.” She hung the cigarette in her mouth and took my hand. After she wiped the blood, she wrapped another napkin around my palm.

“Just a minute.” She disappeared into the crowd. I stepped back and rested against the chain-link, staring at the tops of the trees. She returned and handed me a cup of coffee. I don’t know why, but my hand shook when I reached for the cup.

“It was pretty tough over there.” Her large hat covered most of her face.

I nodded, “How would you know?”

“47th M.A.S.H., Ouijonbu.” She joined me against the chain link fence and sipped her coffee. There wasn’t much more to say. After a few moments I looked at her. “Jeju Island, 1948. We got caught up in the rebellion.”

She held out her gloved hand. “I’m Nancy.” Still hidden under her hat she said,, “Pleasure to see you again, Mr. Drake.”

I studied her. “Have we met before?”

“We have a mutual association with an Officer Graves of the LAPD.”

I spit out the coffee and threw the cup in the trash. “Did that ass send you to…?”

Nancy shook her head. “No, he didn’t.” She took out a jeweled compact, held it at an angle and looked behind her with the mirror. “I didn’t say I knew him. I said you and I had a mutual association.”

Still checking behind her, she whispered, “Meet me at Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights.”

 

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