Anne Louise Bannon has made not one, but two careers out of her passion for storytelling. Both a novelist and a journalist, she has an insatiable curiosity. In addition to her mystery novels, she has written a nonfiction book about poisons, freelanced for such diverse publications as the Los Angeles Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Backstage West, and edits a wineblog. On the fiction side, she writes a romantic serial, a spy series, and her Kathy and Freddy historical mystery series, set in the 1920s. Her most recent title is The Last Witnesses. Learn more about Anne and her books at her website.
Freddie’s First Day in Los Angeles
From the diary of Frederick G. Little, III, author of The Old Money Story and one of the protagonists of the Freddie and Kathy series, set in the Roaring 1920s. In their latest adventure, Freddie’s sister Honoria finds a body in her apartment. Freddie and Kathy take up the search with Honoria, and the three find themselves caught up in a conspiracy that could get them killed, no matter how unbelievable it is.
October 16, 1925, 10 a.m.
Amabassador Hotel, Los Angeles
Good Heavens, what an amazing day was yesterday. Joshua offered to drive me into Los Angeles, itself, all the way from his home in Placentia. He said it was only about forty miles and thought nothing of driving it.
The weather was and remains exceedingly fine. No, scratch that. It’s out and out hot. But then a breeze springs up from the ocean and it’s very pleasant. I can well see the attraction of the area, if this is normal for October, as I am told it is.
My first glimpse of the city was not overwhelmingly impressive. The skyline is not particularly distinctive, although there is a great deal of construction going on. And the oil derricks. They are everywhere. It’s one thing to hear and know that oil is a major business out here. It’s another thing completely to see it. I can well believe that they are pumping millions of gallons of oil.
The hotel is quite comfortable. However, Lowell did not do its splendors justice. Better yet, the concierge was able to provide me with excellent valet service and that went a long way to making me feel more at ease. Lowell, of course, was far more impressed with the easy availability of liquor in the hotel.
That being said, I remain profoundly grateful that my dearest friend is here. Not only are the reasons that brought me here utterly unsettling, there is the fact that we are in the heart of the movie business. In fact, Lowell introduced me to a couple of gentlemen from Riverwind Pictures. Never heard of them, but they’d heard of my book. I suppose I should be flattered by that, and their supposed interest in turning The Old Money Story into a film. Except that they clearly had not read it! How would they know what kind of film it would make if they haven’t read it? Lowell says that’s quite immaterial, which is not entirely reassuring, either.
All in all, there is a certain brash exuberance to this city that I confess, I did not anticipate. There is a great deal of money to be made here, whether one is in the oil business or the picture business, or in both, as I suspect many are. And the city is clearly growing. It’s not New York, but I do believe there is something special here, and it’s not just the weather.
Off to my meeting with Mr. Walsh. More to come.
The Last Witness
It's back to the 1920s with socialite author Freddie Little and his editor and not-so-blushing bride Kathy Briscow. In fact, Freddie and Kathy are happily enjoying their newly married bliss when Freddie's sister Honoria finds a dead body in her apartment. Honoria had taken the young woman in as a favor to a friend, but it soon becomes clear that the favor caught up. Honoria goes into hiding, and Freddie and Kathy take up a chase that will lead all three of them across the country and into a conspiracy that, no matter how unbelievable, could get them all killed.