PORTER DOWN HOLLYWOOD MYSTERY NOVELS
# 3. Untitled - set during the making of Mark of the Vampire (in early drafts)
P.I. Porter Down must hunt down a vampire who is also a murderer and a necrophile.
Although these are only in the concept stage, the following are additional 1930s/1940s movies around which future Porter Down mysteries might revolve:
Beau Geste (1939)
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
Porter Down, prodigal private investigator, takes a perilously deep dive into the most notorious unsolved Hollywood mystery of all time!
This is a wild and wicked time machine ride back to Golden Age Hollywood, and the events surrounding the shocking death of MGM producer Paul Bern, 65 days (and nights) after his marriage to Platinum Blonde Bombshell, Jean Harlow. Was it suicide? Was it murder?
Meet the lovely, vulnerable, MGM star 21-year-old Jean Harlow, her twice-as-old husband Paul Bern, her scheming mother Jean and step-father Marino Bello, Bern's common-law wife Dorothy Millette, MGM Studio Manager Eddie Mannix, and the notorious mobster/Harlow's previous
# 1. Frankenstein's Witch: St. Lizzie, Pray for Us
(BearManor Media, 2022)
# 2. Platinum Widow: Who Killed Jean Harlow's Husband?
(BearManor Media, 2023 - includes an 8-page photo section)
1931. Universal Studios, Hollywood, is placing its hopes for Depression survival on Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s blasphemous saga of a man who made a Monster. During the shooting, a self-proclaimed witch, who performs a Black Mass in Malibu, sinuously infiltrates the company, seducing Colin Clive, the young, brilliant, alcoholic actor who plays Dr. Frankenstein.
The result: a shocking scandal and murder that Universal desperately hides to protect its epic horror film.
1967. Come the psychedelic “Summer of Love,” a witch is once again amok in Hollywood...with striking similarities to her 1931 predecessor. Someone burns the old Frankenstein set that still was standing on Universal’s back lot. An aged Boris Karloff, who’d played Frankenstein’s Monster, has received a death threat. A horrifying, ritualistic murder occurs. A veteran P.I. named Porter Down, who’d battled the 1931 witch, claims the atrocities are those of the original witch herself...who’s been dead for 36 years.
“I should know,” says the investigator. “I was the one who killed her.”
paramour and protector "Longie" Zwillman. There are cameo appearances from such Big Screen luminaries as Clark Gable, Fredric March, Lionel Atwill, Joan Crawford, Louis B. Mayer, and Irving Thalberg. Meet also a fictional deadly female pornographer/blackmailer, a spunky female investigator who assists Porter Down in his investigations, and many other fictional characters who inhabit the fringes of the real-life tragedy.
This is a fictional – but credible – solution to Bern's demise, based on the true events of 91-years-ago. Hollywood’s Golden Age lives again with a vengeance in this manic mix of fact and fiction!