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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Murder at Eastern Columbia by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson




Title: Murder at Eastern Columbia
Author: Christopher Geoffrey McPherson
Publisher: Christopher Geoffrey McPherson
Pages: 210
Genre: Historical Detective
Format: Paperback/Kindle


Purchase at AMAZON

Los Angeles. 1931. Your name is James Murray. You are a clerk in the Junior Boy's department at the swankest new department store in downtown. You want to be a writer, but there's a Depression on. Suddenly, you find yourself trying to solve the murder of your best friend. Will you be able to find the murderer before it's too late?

"Murder at Eastern Columbia" is two novels in one: two parallel stories, featuring two heroes, working two murders in two different versions of 1930s Los Angeles. Join James and his alter ego as they each try to solve the murder of the girl with sorrel-colored hair. Follow the twists and turns until the climactic scene atop the tallest building in all of LA: the brand new Los Angeles City Hall.

Book Excerpt:

Murder at Eastern Columbia, a James Murray mystery, takes place in downtown Los Angeles in 1931. In this excerpt, one of the main characters talks to a friend of hers over breakfast about a trip she took with her now-dead sister -- and how they met the man she believes killed her.

________________________________________________________________

"Both of us -- my sister and I -- wanted so bad to see Paris. Father sold one of our cars and managed to scrape up enough money to get us there and back, with a little left over for accommodations and food. It wasn't a lavish trip by any means, but we didn't care. We wanted to be in Paris more than anything else in the world, so Father sent us.
"We had a wonderful time. Met some wonderful people. One of them was a gorgeous French model. She took us under her wing. Showed us everything that made Paris so beautiful. We all became fast friends. She was supposed to be coming back to America on the same ship. Something happened at the very last minute -- I think she got a booking for a Vogue magazine cover shoot -- and she ended up having to take a later sailing. In the confusion, all of her bags were left on board our ship. There was no time to take them off, so she gave us the claim checks and asked us to make sure the bags arrived in America safely. She even gave us a couple hundred French francs for our trouble.
"Well, it was hardly any trouble, if you know what I mean. Think of it: two poor American girls, third class on a beautiful ocean liner, making the sailing across to America. My sister always had more ambition than I did. She took the extra francs the model had given us, marched right up to the purser and upgraded us both from third class to the finest first class suite we could afford. I was shocked, but it was all pretty exciting.
"She gave our room attendant the claim checks and had all the model's trunks brought to our suite. You should have seen her face when she opened them up: there were fabulously expensive Chanel dresses, Vionnets, Poirets, dresses by Molyneux and Lelong, entire suits by Schiaparelli and Mainbocher, and a separate leather bag filled with exquisite Hermes silk scarves. Hermes silk scarves! Can you imagine? It was all the best of the best of French couture right there in our suite. My sister spent hours trying on everything -- and then the idea hit her: she would have her hair and nails done at the ship salon and then go to dinner dressed in one of these sumptuous outfits! I was against it, of course, but she would hear none of it. So, she did just that and we went to dinner that evening.
"I have to admit, she looked stunning. She had chosen a fantastic dark-green satin Mainbocher, with an inset chevron in light green right at the waist. It came with an ermine-trimmed cape. Oh, with her red hair, it was amazing. She was perhaps the most beautiful woman at dinner that night. I didn't dare to wear one of the model's outfits, so I stuck to my own clothing, but I still looked good."
I looked up at her and smiled.
"I'm sure you did," I offered.
She smiled back, then continued.
"When she came down the stairs into the main dining room, you could hear all the conversation stop as people turned to look at her. In fact, a few of the men stood and began applauding at her entrance. Soon, the entire room was applauding. I think they thought she was a famous actress or something, the attention she got.
"After dinner, there was dancing. She was the most popular woman on the ship that night. All the wealthy young rou├ęs fluttered around her like so many moths to a bright flame. She asked for a cigarette and was given ten. She asked for a light and was met with a blazing fire of lighters and matches. I was happy for her because she was happy. But then, he came up to her."
"Marco?" I asked, wiping my mouth and taking a sip of coffee.
"Yes. He approached her and the other fellows retreated fast. He had a reputation even aboard that ship. Once he made his claim on her, no other man dared to approach her. It was the start of a ship-board romance that lasted the rest of the trip. She had no shortage of fine outfits to wear and she wore them all. After that first night, I rarely spent time with her. How could I? She was always with him. I saw her across the crowded dining room, or on the deck, or at the symphony, but she was almost never without him at her side. I was worried, but she seemed so happy. It was the last time she was going to be that happy."


About the Author

In more than three decades as a professional writer/journalist, Christopher Geoffrey McPherson has covered myriad subjects and interviewed thousands of people from the famous to the unknown. He brings his years of experience to each one of his novels.
Every work is different. Through reading his novels, you can visit the American home front in the 1940s, a future San Francisco wiped out by a killer earthquake, a romantic love affair in post-war Paris in the 1920s, a future planet where the major industry is making babies -- or an exciting detective series set in 1930s Los Angeles.
In his career, his work has appeared in daily newspapers, monthly magazines, extensively on radio and the occasional dalliance with television. He has written advertising copy and radio commercials -- and continues to write.
Christopher is currently working on a series of novels that take place in 1930s Los Angeles called “The James Murray Mysteries.” Books in the series are "Murder at Eastern Columbia," “Sabotage at RKO Studio” and the newest “Abduction at Griffith Observatory.”
Other works featuring his byline include "The Babi Makers" -- a science fiction tale about a world where the most important resource is babies; "Sarah & Gerald" -- a novel about Paris in the 1920s; "Forever - and other stories" -- a collection of short stories; "The Life Line" -- the novel of the big one that levels San Francisco; "News on the Home Front" -- a novel of two friends during World War Two; and "Mama Cat" -- a book for children. Also, several short plays, a few radio plays and a boatload of radio documentaries.

For More Information


  • Visit Christopher Geoffrey McPherson’s website.
  • Connect with Christopher on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Visit Christopher blog.
  • More books by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson.
  • Contact the author.


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