Since I’ve been writing my murder mysteries, which take place in the 1950s, it has required some research of that era.
If you’re one of the lucky ones to be part of the Baby Boomers, perhaps, you will feel as if you are walking down memory lane when you read the Dana Greer, PI Mystery Series.
When Dana finds herself on Cape Peril, Maine, on a freezing winter day, she wishes she had purchased that coat from the Penney’s catalog…the cashmere one with the mutton fur collar, but eleven dollars seemed too much!
Or, when Opal, the Tarot card reader, introduces herself to Dana, she’s wearing a flowered housedress…not a term you hear people using today but a popular style for women of the day.
While solving the murder of a young school girl, Dana stays in a beautiful Victorian home. Its kitchen is furnished with a chrome table and chairs upholstered in bright, yellow vinyl, truly a décor of the 50s.
Those were the days when leaving a ten-cent tip for a toast and egg breakfast was considered more than adequate, and a five-and-ten store, referred to as a “dime store” was a common sight on the main street in town.
It was a time when telegrams were a common way to communicate important information over the miles, and people did handwork, such as crocheting fancy edges on pillowcases, making doilies for every table, and embroidering designs on linens.
Segregation was all part of the era, and it was not uncommon to find separate water fountains for the black and white folk. The South harbored the Ku Klux Klan, who were known for their ruthless, intolerant ways.
For humor, people were reading comic books, such as Casper the Ghost or Little Lulu. For the latest gossip, people were reading Motion Picture, Modern Screen, or Movie Stars or getting the latest updates from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.
And oh for the Hollywood stars of the times whose names were household words: Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn….
Writing mystery novels set in the 50s, such as Unholy Secrets or Silent Betrayal, as well as reading them truly is a walk down memory lane.