Tag Archives: 1950s

Coming Soon – Pop Culture Mysteries – All Day Sucker

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Blondes – the bane of Jake’s existence.

June 1, 1954. It was the day Jake Dashing fell asleep at his desk, never to wake up again until June 1, 2014. He slept for sixty years exactly.

Soon, Bookshelf Q. Battler’s 3.5 readers will learn the details behind the last day Jake spent in the 1950’s.

Our resident gumshoe always was a sucker for a pretty face and on the last day from his past, there wasn’t an exception.

Alana Harris. The buxom bombshell actress and star of the film, Love is Not Enough comes to Jake with a proposition: snap some photos of her husband Buck Bettencourt in the throes of passion with his floozy on the side and she will…make it worth his while.

Jake’s pretty sure he knows what that means but demands clarification nonetheless.  Never trust a dame, especially a dazzling one.

But Bettencourt isn’t just any old mark. He’s a major Hollywood power player, the owner of Bettencourt Studios and the friend everyone in Tinseltown wants to have.

Jake arrives on the scene only to find foul play.  Is it a set up? He’ll spend his last day in the 1950’s clearing his name.

Bookshelf Q. Battler is currently reviewing Jake Dashing’s case report and hopes to add it to Pop Culture Mysteries – Season One by New Year’s.

Of course, it’ll become part of popculturemysteries.com later in 2016.

What is it about yellow hair that turns a man into a chuckling chowderhead?  If Jake knew, his life would be a lot easier, but a lot less interesting.

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Case File #003 – Relationships (Part 2)

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES…

Part 1 – Jake gets a late night visit from Attorney Donnelly.  Our resident gumshoe freaks out when Ms. Tsang comes home after midnight with a new beau.

AND NOW THE POP CULTURE MYSTERIES CONTINUE…

From the moth eaten pocket of my trench coat, I produced a worn out black and white photograph.  It was of yours truly standing next to an Asian couple and their eight year old daughter, a precocious kiddo with a wide smile and pig tails.

I handed it over to Ms. Donnelly.

Susan Tsang, Hatcher's Secret Niece/Unpaid Landlady

Susan Tsang, Hatcher’s Secret Niece/Unpaid Landlady

“You’re kidding,” was her reply.

“No ma’aam.”

“So she’s your…who is she to you exactly?”

“An adopted niece of sorts,”  I said.  “When my first marriage went up in a cloud of smoke and I was given the bum’s rush off the police force, I didn’t have two wooden nickels to rub together.  Ms. Tsang’s old man Joe was a buddy of mine in the war.  I saved his hide a few times and he was so grateful that he let me use the room upstairs as my office.”

“How old is she in this photo?”

“Ahh let’s see,”  I said.  “That was actually taken in 1955.  Same year I went under for the fifty-nine year nap.  She’d of been eight years old I think.”

Ms. Donnelly handed the picture back and I took another look at it.

“Jumpin’ Jehosaphat,”  I said.  “That little kid who used to run around this place is older than dirt now.”

“I understand the mathematics of it all,”  Delilah said.  “Technically, you’ve been alive for ninety-five years, but since you never aged past your mid-thirties, it just seems an odd sight to me to watch you lecture a woman who looks like she could be your mother.”

I tucked the photo back in my pocket for safe keeping.

“I surely do miss Joe and Evelyn,” I said.  “They were two of the good ones.  Let me use that room for years until my private investigation business began turning a profit.  I started paying them rent when I was able to afford it.  Kind of feel like a heel that I’m not able to now.”

“Perhaps you’ll find a few more clients with pockets deeper than Mr. Battler’s.”

It was a nice thought, but who’d hire a bum like me other than a second rate cheapskate Interwhatever scribe?

“Perhaps I will, Ms. Donnelly.  Perhaps I will.”

“You consider her a niece,”  Ms. Donnelly said.  “Yet you refer to her as, ‘Ms. Tsang?'”

“To keep up appearances,”  I answered.  “It’s not like I can walk around and tell people this woman who appears much older than I am is like a kid to me.”

“Some advice that you may take or leave at your leisure,”  Ms. Donnelly said.  “But she’s not a child anymore and maybe you shouldn’t treat her as such.”

Jake Hatcher, Pop Culture Detective/Secret Uncle

Jake Hatcher, Pop Culture Detective/Secret Uncle

“You’re right,”  I said.  “Hell, she kept this whole restaurant afloat after her parents passed on and took care of me while I was sleeping in the room upstairs for decades, so I should give her a little bit of credit.  Still, it’s hard not to worry about her when she’s out on the town.”

“I suppose a parent’s worries never end,”  Ms. Donnelly said.  “Or an adoptive uncle’s.”

“I trust you’ll keep this tidbit between us,”  I said.  “I’ve only shared it with you because of your trustworthy character, Ms. Donnelly.”

“Mum is the word, Mr. Hatcher.  Mum is the word.”

Delilah stood up, prompting me to do the same.

“If you’ll excuse me, I must be off.  I have to catch a two a.m. flight to Monte Carlo.”

“France,”  I said.  “Wow, Mr. Battler is pulling out all the stops.”

“Business for another client,”  Delilah said.  “There are people to work for other than Mr. Battler, Mr. Hatcher.  You should try it sometime.”

I held the door open for the lady.

“I’m touched that you trusted me enough to share the truth behind your relationship with Ms. Tsang ,”  Delilah said as she walked out the door.

A taxi cab was waiting for her.

“Touched enough to grab a bite to eat with me sometime?”

“Not that touched.”

“Of course,” I said.  “Good night, Ms. Donnelly.”

“Good night, Mr. Hatcher.”

I waited and watched until Ms. Donnelly was safely inside the cab and on her way before shutting the door and returning to the table.

I picked up the bottle.

“At least you never turn me down,”  I said as I poured a shot.

I swigged it back and opened the envelope.  A new letter from Mr. Battler.

Detective Hatcher,

A teenage boy.  A crazy wild-haired scientist.  A limited edition sports car that travels through time when it is driven at precisely eighty-eight miles per hour.

Doc Brown and Marty McFly entertained and thrilled audiences in the three part Back to the Future trilogy.  Together, the duo went on an adventure that took them to the 1950’s (which probably doesn’t seem so bad to you), a highly optimistic version of this year, 2015 (will scientists ever figure out how to rehydrate a pizza?) and even to the Old West.

One question the films failed to answer – how the hell did these two know each other in the first place?

I mean, honestly, three movies and not one peep about what kind of a relationship they had.

I’ve got to know, Hatcher.  Figure this out.

Sincerely,

Bookshelf Q. Battler

What a segue way.  Just moments earlier, I’d been discussing with Ms. Donnelly the nature of my relationship with Ms. Tsang and now Mr. Battler wanted an explanation of the relationship between a teenage time traveler and a mad scientist.

It was so convenient that it might as well have been written for the benefit of an Interwhatever site read by 3.5 readers.

And by the way, 3.5 readers, if you could keep the secret about Ms. Tsang under your hat, I’d appreciate it.  I never tell anyone because the last thing I need is for one of the criminals I’ve encountered to use information like that against me.

There are plenty of degenerates out there who are more than willing to hurt a fella’s loved ones just to get at him.

Luckily, only 3.5 people are reading this, so the secret should be safe.

Jake, we really need you to get to Doc and Marty.

Copyright (c) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: And Now a Word From Our Sponsor (Beware the Red Menace)

Tomorrow’s episode of Pop Culture Mysteries is brought to you by the American Organization Against Anti-American Tomfoolery!  Join us today and help stop the spread of the dreaded red menace!

ANNOUNCER:  Earl and Pearl.  Two fine upstanding Americans.  Earl works a hard day at the office but can always count on Pearl to have a nice juicy steak waiting for him as soon as he walks through the door.  They pay their taxes, trim their hedges, pick up litter, and never forget to vote.

PEARL:  More steak Earl?shutterstock_266650730

EARL:  Of course, Pearl!  You’ve outdone yourself again, dear!

PEARL:  Oh you!

ANNOUNCER:  Hello Earl and Pearl.

(Earl folds his newspaper and looks up.)

EARL:  Oh.  Hello.

ANNOUNCER:  Say Earl, who’s that old gent who just moved in next door to you?

EARL:  Mr. Thompson?  Oh, I haven’t much of a chance to get to know him yet.  Introduced myself the other day.  Seems like a fine fellow.

ANNOUNCER:  “Seems” is a tricky word, Earl.

EARL:  What do you mean?

ANNOUNCER:  Well, Mr. Thompson might “seem” like a kindly old codger when in fact, he could very well be a low down dirty stinking red communist, reporting every thing he observes about the United States directly to Nikita Khrushchev as we speak!

PEARL:  Oh Heavens to Betsy!

ANNOUNCER:  Now, now.  Calm your feminine emotions, Pearl.  There’s no need to panic.

EARL:  What do we do?

ANNOUNCER:  What any good American citizen should do!  Get in Mr. Thompson’s business and find out if he prefers the Stars and Stripes or the Hammer and Sickle!

PEARL:  How do we do that?

ANNOUNCER:  I was talking to Earl.  Pearl, the men are talking now…

PEARL:  I’m sorry.  It’s my darn feminine emotions acting up again.

ANNOUNCER:  Earl, go have yourself a real conversation with your neighbor.  Better yet, invite him over for a nice dinner.  Hear that, Pearl?  You can finally be useful.

PEARL:  And how!

EARL:  Are there any warning signs I should look out for?

ANNOUNCER:  Of course!  The fine upstanding Americans at the American Organization Against Anti-American Tomfoolery have identified the following issues to consider:

1.  BASEBALL – Can Mr. Thompson name the starting lineup of the Dodgers?  Baseball is the American past-time you know.  The dirty pinkos’ favorite pastime?  Why, it’s a toss-up between baby strangling and puppy kicking.

2.  CINEMA – Bring Hollywood into the conversation and any red blooded American male will surely mention Rita Hayworth.  Keep your ears open in case Mr. Thompson mentions Olga of Olga’s Stewstravaganza, literally the only Soviet movie ever made.  It’s all about a peasant woman’s quest to create the perfect stew.

3.  CARS – Ford?  Yes.  Dodge?  Yes.  Chrysler?  Yes. Mule?  No.

4.  MONEY – Sing that perennial favorite, “How Much is that Doggy in the Window?”  Does Mr. Thompson reply “I do hope that doggy’s for sale!” or “The doggy belongs to everyone and is to be shared equally, comrade!”

5.  THE PIE TEST – Nothing is more American than apple pie.  Set a piece in front of a commie and he’ll shrink away from it and hiss like a vampire!

EARL:  That sure is a lot to think about.

ANNOUNCER:  It sure is, Earl.  It sure is.  Remember – ONLY YOU CAN PRESERVE LADY LIBERTY FROM THE RED MENACE!

Have a question about pop culture?  Put Hatcher on the case!  Tweet your inquiries to @bookshelfbattle #popculturemysteries or leave it in the comments on bookshelfbattle.com

Copyright Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

1950’s couple image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries!!!

A brand new episode of Pop Culture Mysteries starts tomorrow…

“Hmm…my powers of deduction lead me to believe this dame croaked from boredom. Probably didn’t read enough of the Bookshelf Battle Blog, see?”

Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Blog Private Eye, has agreed to solve 100 pop culture mysteries and submit his findings right here on bookshelfbattle.com

Need to refresh your memory?  Better check out the previous episodes, see?

Pop Culture Mysteries:  Enter the Blond

Pop Culture Mysteries:  Case File #001 – Here’s a Story (Question Answered – What happened to the original Brady Bunch spouses aka Mike’s first wife and Carol’s first husband?)

Who better to solve a mystery than Jake Hatcher, a hardboiled film noir style detective who fell asleep in his office above an LA Chinese restaurant in 1955, woke up in 2014, and spent a year trying to figure out what happened before Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Attorney, the delicious dish Delilah K. Donnelly, offered him the chance to make 500 smackers?  (That’s a lot of dough in 1955, see?)

Do you have a question about popular culture?  Is there a plot hole in your favorite TV show or movie you’d like explained?  Is there a celebrity meltdown you’d like to know more about?  An entertainment myth you want debunked?

Put Hatcher on the case!

SUBMIT YOUR POP CULTURE MYSTERY QUESTIONS TO:

TWITTER –  @bookshelfbattle    #popculturemysteries

BQB’s Google Plus Page

Or just drop it in the comments here.

Hell, if you can get past her constant complaining, Liddie Laurent will even explain how you can read Pop Culture Mysteries on Wattpad.

Together, we can help Hatcher solve 100 mysteries and go back to his own time with a big bag of five dollar bills, which he will use to live like a king.

Tomorrow’s Pop Culture Mystery:  Han or Greedo – who shot first?

Man investigating murder victim image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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POP CULTURE MYSTERIES!

Pop Culture Mysteries is a new feature on the Bookshelf Battle Blog, hosted by a storytelling nerd of world renown, the one and only Bookshelf Q. Battler!

Jake Hatcher, a hardboiled 1950’s film noir detective in the tradition of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe, has agreed to solve one hundred pop culture mysteries and file his reports right here on bookshelfbattle.com

LADY: Oh Detective, can you solve the Mystery of Why BQB Only Has 3.5 Readers? HATCHER:  Because he stinks worse than a swamp on low tide day, ma'am.  Now that'll be five bucks.

LADY: Oh Detective, can you solve the Mystery of Why BQB Only Has 3.5 Readers?
HATCHER: Because he stinks worse than a swamp at low tide, ma’am. Now that’ll be five bucks.

SOME CASES CURRENTLY ON HATCHER’S TO-DO LIST:

1)  How the hell did Doc and Marty from Back to the Future know each other?

2)  Why didn’t Rose take a seat in one of the life boats so Jack could keep that lousy piece of driftwood in Titanic?

3)  Who shot first?  Han or Greedo?

All these and more coming soon…but first up tomorrow…What happened to the original Brady Bunch spouses?

Do you have a pop culture mystery you want to put Detective Hatcher on?

Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle or leave it in #popculturemysteries (Because BQB totally owns that shit now)

Tell him on his Google Plus page

Drop it in the comments of bookshelfbattle.com

Together, we can help Jake solve 100 mysteries, earn 500 bucks and go back to 1955 where he will live like the King of Siam with his bag of green Abe Lincoln portraits.

Film noir detective and client photo courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Enter the Blonde – Part 5

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES: Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

“Lady,” I said as I threw the letter down on the desk. “Is this some kind of joke?”

A legally binding contract with a reclusive anonymous blogger who claims to own a magical bookshelf?  What could possibly go wrong?

A legally binding contract with a reclusive anonymous blogger who claims to own a magic bookshelf? What could possibly go wrong?

“Mr. Battler has a peculiar sense of humor,” Delilah said. “But this issue is not a laughing matter to him. He takes his entertainment very seriously.”

“He names himself after an inanimate object?” I asked.

“It’s a code name,” Delilah replied. “Based on his very sensitive work involving his magic bookshelf. I’m sorry. I’m not at liberty to divulge his true identity.”

“Sounds like a real loser if you ask me,” I said. “Listen, if it’s all the same, I’d rather not run around like a schmuck trying to answer all the questions this dim bulb has about television, ok? Please. If you know how to get me back to 1955 then just tell me before I go bananas.”

Delilah opened her briefcase and pulled out a piece of paper and a fountain pen. “That’s all part of the deal, Mr. Hatcher,” she said as she handed me what appeared to be a contract.

TOTALLY LEGALLY BINDING LEGAL CONTRACT

(SERIOUSLY, IF YOU BREAK THIS, A JUDGE WILL THROW A GAVEL AT YOUR HEAD)

DATE: June 1,2015

PARTIES:

Bookshelf Q. Battler, Professional Blogger

Jake Hatcher, Old Timey Style 1950’s Style Private Eye

RE: Pop Culture Mysteries

Mr. Hatcher agrees to solve 100 pop culture mysteries posed to him by Mr. Battler.

These inquiries may be delivered to Mr. Hatcher any time of day or night by Attorney Donnelly.

Mr. Hatcher must be prepared to investigate at a moment’s notice. (Seriously, if some messed bullshit happens on next week’s episode of The Blacklist, Mr. Battler is going to want to know the who, what, where, when, how and why of how said shit went down posthaste).

Mr. Hatcher must file a report with Attorney Donnelly after the completion of every pop culture mystery, providing Mr. Battler’s 3.5 readers with full detail of how the caper was solved.

Upon successful completion of each case, Attorney Donnelly is authorized to pay Mr. Hatcher the sum of no less than five, count em, five American dollars.

Upon the completion of one hundred pop culture case files, Mr. Battler will provide Mr. Hatcher with detailed information as to how he fell asleep in 1955 and woke up in 2014. Further, at such time, Mr. Battler will explain to Mr. Hatcher how to return to his original time period.

Additionally, if Mr. Hatcher should choose not to return to 1955, he will have the option to sign-up to take on another one-hundred pop culture mysteries.

However, should Mr. Battler think of some other bullshit to entertain his 3.5 readers with, he reserves the right to tell Mr. Hatcher to go pound sand with a wet rock.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER’S SIGNATURE: Bookshelf Q. Battler

JAKE HATCHER’S SIGNATURE:

I looked up from the contract and shook my head.

“Lady,” I said. “Is this fella for real?”

“Yes,” Delilah said. “Five dollars per case, I know. A paltry sum. Perhaps it isn’t my place to say this as I represent Mr. Battler and therefore must remain loyal to him but I did advise him that he should offer you more as I doubt you will be interested in…”

“I’LL TAKE IT!”

Really?  Jake Hatcher, P.I. willing to work for a measly five bucks?  Find out why on the next installment of Pop Culture Mysteries! Pop Culture Mysteries – Copyright (c) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Enter the Blond – Part 3

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES: ENTER THE BLONDE 

PART 1 – Detective Jake Hatcher arrives in his office to find a mysterious blonde dame…

PART 2 – …who seems to know an awful lot about our fearless  private eye.

Attorney Delilah K. Donnelly, Examiner of Bookshelf Q. Battler's Legal Briefs (That's not an inappropriate pun or anything, he really gives her a crap ton of paperwork.)

Attorney Delilah K. Donnelly, Examiner of Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Legal Briefs
(That’s not an inappropriate pun or anything, he really gives her a crap ton of paperwork.)

“I’m here to offer you a very lucrative deal, Mr. Hatcher.”

How many times had I heard those famous last words uttered to me by a she-devil in a skirt?

“Let me guess,” I said. “You’re going to tell me that you want to hire me to take incriminating photos of your good for nothing husband in the throes of passion with his cheap floozy secretary. Only you’re going to shoot them both before I arrive and when the cops show up, they’ll mistake me for the trigger man. While I’m getting outfitted for a pair of striped pajamas, you’ll be on your way to Barbados with a pile of your dead hubby’s cash. Whaddaya say, sweetheart? Am I warm?”

“You’re ice cold,” the dame said with a chuckle. “My goodness, you certainly are distrustful of the fairer sex.”

“I trust no one, ma’am,” I said. “Dames have just given me more reason not to.”

My uninvited guest puffed away on her filtered cigarette and gave me the old once over with her eyes, looking at me in much the same way a lion must look at a fat gazelle with a gimpy leg.

“I hope one day you’ll learn to trust me, Mr. Hatcher.”

“Doubtful,” I said. “Especially when you’re probably going to try to bat your pretty little eyelashes at me out of a mistaken belief that you can make me fall in love with you and dupe me into killing your husband because you’re too chicken to do it yourself? Did I figure out your fiendish scheme yet?”

“Some detective you are!” the lady said as she snapped off her right glove and stretched out a finely manicured hand, complete with red nails polished so brightly I was able to see my mug staring back at me in them.

“You failed to deduce that there’s no ring on my finger!”

I stared at that dainty hand and silently kicked myself on the inside for letting a clue slip past me. Maybe it was late, maybe it was the extra doses of Jack Daniels, but that gal had gotten one over on yours truly, and I didn’t like it.

Not one bit.

“Even so,” I said. “It’s been my experience that a woman with a body like yours is always up to no good and this palooka didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, see? I think you made a mistake in coming here, sister. The all-day sucker store is two blocks down.”

“You’re really something else, aren’t you Mr. Hatcher?” the dame asked. “My employer warned me about you.”

“Your employer?”

“Yes,” the woman said as she handed me a business card. It read:

Delilah K. Donnelly, Esq.

In-House Counsel for Bookshelf Q. Battler

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Enter the Blonde – Part 1

By: Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye

Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye

Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye

It was a dark and stormy night.

The kind of night where it doesn’t just rain cats and dogs. It pours flabby tabbies and labrador retrievers.

The H20 pumped down from the skies, dancing on the pavement like so many Swan Lake ballerinas. It sloshed all over my wingtips as I buttoned up my trench coat, tilted my fedora downward, and began wondering if an ark wouldn’t be a bad investment.

Luckily, I reached my office before I was swept away to Timbuktu.

Times were tough and money was harder to come by than integrity on network television. All I could afford was a one room hovel above a Chinese restaurant. It worked out well. I was a sucker for moo goo gai pan and my landlady, good ole Ms. Tsang, never failed to have a hot plate full of it waiting for me whenever I came home from a long night of sleuthing.  Gratis.  Free of charge.  I didn’t even have to pay for it.

Ms. Tsang was truly a sweet old gal.

I ate a forkful of my free dinner and headed upstairs to my digs, the door of which was prominently marked:

Detective Jake Hatcher

Private Investigator

Reasonable Rates/No Refunds

I popped open the door and relieved my worn out carcass from my sopping wet coat. The fedora? It stayed on. Many a ne’er-do-well has tried separate this gumshoe from his favorite hat and not lived to tell the tale. I wasn’t about to do the job for them.

My mind was swimming for shore and I was ready to drown it before it started doing the backstroke. I had an appointment with one Mr. Jack Daniels. He was an old friend I knew all too well. Some might say too well, my third ex-wife among them.

I poured myself a shot and there it sat before me, staring me straight in the puss like an uninvited house guest that refused to leave. An angel on my left shoulder told me to pour it out the window and sober up. The devil on my right shoulder told me to guzzle it down and keep ‘em comin.’

The devil won. He always does.

I tilted the glass against my lips and Mr. Daniels’ special prescription for what ailed me trickled through my lips, across my tongue, and down my gullet, where it immediately went to work on making all the bad memories go away.

Liquor – my best friend and my worst enemy.

Mysterious Blond Dame

Mysterious Blond Dame

“A bit rude not to offer a lady a drink, isn’t it detective?”

My heart beat faster than a conga drum in the hands of Matthew McConaughey during one of his special transcendental experiences. I turned around and there she was – a beautiful buxom blonde behind my desk, her shapely keister parked directly in my very own swivel chair.

“If we’re talking about manners ma’am, I assume it’s frowned upon to break into a man’s place of business and act like you own the place.”

She wasn’t your average broad. This dame had a face that could make the angels cry and a body that could convince Satan to turn the heat down in Hell. Lush red lips, flawless china doll skin and although she was sitting on it, I assumed she was packing the kind of caboose that could convince a man to ride the rails all the way to Albuquerque.

“Oh, I assure you there was no break in, Mr. Hatcher,” the dame said. “Your landlady let me in.”

“Oh she did, see?” I asked. “Now why in Sam Hill would she go and do a fool thing like that?”

“I told her we were old friends.”

“Friends?” I asked. “No offense ma’am, but I don’t know you from a hole in the wall.”

My visitor puffed away on a long filtered cigarette. She held it in a hand covered by a black glove that went all the way up to her elbow. Around her neck dangled a strand of pearls, the cost of which could have fed a small country.

She dressed like she had an account at every boutique on Rodeo Drive and spoke with the perfect and precise diction of a finishing school graduate.

“All friendships must begin somewhere, Mr. Hatcher,” the dame said. “What’s holding up that drink?”

I had half a mind to show her the way out, but my inquisitive side drew me in. I poured a shot of the sweet brown goodness and handed it to her, then suffered the indignity of having to sit down in the rickey chair on the opposite side of my desk, the one I reserved for clients in need of my services.

I checked my watch.

“I’m bushed after a long day of giving the criminal element of Los Angeles the old what for, ma’am,” I said. “So you’ve got five minutes to state your business before I give you the old heave-ho.  No pun intended.”

“My, my, my,” the dame replied. Her lips pursed as they blew out a smokey circle that rose into the moonlight creeping in through my one and only window. “I must say, Mr. Hatcher, you’re the first man I’ve ever met who was in a rush to be free of my company.”

“Now see here, ma’am,” I said, matter-of-factly, “This old gumshoe’s heart has been pierced by more stiletto heels than I care to count. I’m sure you’ve convinced many a sailor to crash his ship on the rocks with your siren’s song, but this fish is wise to the hook in your worm, see? I’m immune to your feminine wiles.”

“Aww,” the dame said as she mocked me with an insincere pouty face. “Poor Mr. Hatcher. Still reeling over the loss of your ex-wives I take it?”

“All three of ‘em,” I said. “But I fail to see how that’s any of your business, doll face.”

“Your first wife, Trixie Bordeaux, she cheated on you with your old partner back in the day when you were a detective for the LA police department, didn’t she?”

“Walked in on them while they were dancing the horizontal mattress mambo in my own house,” I replied. “That’s a sight that can never be unseen.”

“Your second wife, Muffy Sinclair,” the dame continued. “She shot you six times and left you for dead, then ran off to Tahiti with your boorish brother Roscoe.”

“She was a crack shot and yet she managed to miss every vital organ,” I said. “Somewhere deep down that bird was still crazy for me.”

“Your third wife, Constance Connors,” the dame said. “She was the best wife you ever had and yet you fouled that one up on your own.”

“Sad but true,” I said. “I hit the giggle juice hard to dull the pain my first two wives caused me, never realizing I was pushing away the only dame that’d ever been loyal to me until it was too late. She ran away from me faster than a long distance marathon runner on uppity pills.”

“I certainly hope you’ve cured your addiction since then?” the dame asked.

“I can handle my hooch, sister,” I said as I poured myself another shot. “Say, how in the bloody blue blazes do you know so much about me anyway?”

On my desk was a big black briefcase. It wasn’t mine so I knew it belonged to my guest. She popped it open and pulled out a manilla file folder, stuffed to the brim with paperwork.

“I know everything there is to know about you, Mr. Hatcher.”

What’s in store for our fearless detective? Find out tomorrow on Pop Culture Mysteries, an exclusive new feature on the Bookshelf Battle Blog.

Copyright (c)  2015 Bookshelf Q. Battler.  All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Hatcher’s Problems

shutterstock_254517373Dames.  Can’t live with ’em.  Can’t ship em off to Cucamonga.

There’s a lot of females in Hatcher’s life.  Who’s on the level?  Who’s waiting to stab him in the back?  How can a fella who’s been burnt more times than an empty matchbook ever find love again?

Not that he has much time to worry about it.  Gangsters.  Goons.  Thugs.  A stab happy killer on the loose.  They all want to crack open our resident gumshoe like a piñata and fight over the insides.

On top of all that, he’s a 1955 man living in 2015.

Cell phones?  More baffling to him than Chinese Algebra.

Is the mysterious blonde dame’s offer his dream come true or a nightmare to come?

Life’s got questions.  Hatcher needs the answers.

You’ll even get to ask him some.

Project X – the special mystery project being worked on by Bookshelf Q. Battler – due out Jun 1 as another blog serial on the Bookshelf Battle Blog.

Detective image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Project X – A Sneak Peak

Coming to the Bookshelf Battle Blog June 1, a serial so cool that Bookshelf Q. Battler is holding back on the title for now…

Hatcher and Betsy

Hatcher and Betsy

Meet Jake Hatcher.  He’s a 1950’s era hardboiled private detective in the tradition of Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe.  Film noir fans rejoice.

He isn’t just any old gumshoe.  With the help of his trusty service revolver Betsy, he dispatched numerous Nazis during World War II and was even involved in a mission so secret that it can’t be discussed just yet, even on a blog that only has 3.5 readers.

After the fall of the Third Reich, Hatcher became a bur in the britches of LA’s criminal underworld, feeding Betsy a steady diet of wiseguys to replace the agents of Der Fuhrer that she’d grown accustomed to.

The twist?  One night in 1955, Hatcher fell asleep in his office desk chair.  When he woke up, it was 2014.  For the past year, he’s been aimlessly wandering the streets of the City of Angels, desperately trying to figure out how he lost 59 years and if there’s a way to get back to his own time.

Mysterious Blonde Dame

Mysterious Blonde Dame

This summer, a mysterious blonde dame will walk into Hatcher’s life on the finest pair of getaway sticks this side of the Rio Grande.  This femme fatale claims she can help our hero figure out how he lost 59 years.  She even says she can help him return to his own era.

But he’s going to have to jump through a lot of hoops first.

Mysteries are afoot in modern times and Hatcher needs to dust off his sleuthing skills and get to work.

What kind of mysteries?  BQB will get back to you on that one.

Is this dame on the level or is Hatcher being played like a harpsichord?

Only time will tell…and the catch?

You’ll have to help him.

Yes, there will be some reader interactivity and of course, Bookshelf Q. Battler’s unique brand of humor will be present throughout.  Even so, this new feature will be an interesting diversion from BQB’s usual schtick.

For now, the owner of the magic bookshelf is keeping a lot under his hat.  He’s pretty proud of this one and hopes you will be too.

Your loyal blog host has been working his behind off for the past few months, getting “The Summer of Bookshelf” serial extravaganza together.

Bookshelf Q. Battler and the Meaning of Life begins on May 15.  The “Named to Be Announced Later” Project X starts June 1. Throughout the summer, these two serials will run up against one another.  You’ll have BQB and the Meaning of Life for a week or so, then Project X for a while, then they’ll switch back in forth that way until the end of the summer.

For your reading pleasure, these stories have been serialized into daily chunks, easily consumed without taking too much time from your busy schedules.

So take BQB’s hand 3.5 readers and get ready for what will prove to be an awesome summer to say the least.

Copyright Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Detective and blonde woman photos courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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