I was absolutely delighted with last week's response to the beginning of Where Jen's Book Thoughts Readers Are Reading. I'm so happy you enjoyed it and I hope you all will continue to send your pictures in for the feature. But let's get on to today's reader. I was so thrilled that Rochelle submitted this picture because I HAVE been following her hikes on Facebook. So fun. Hope you enjoy!
While writing the Mind for Murder novels set in Los Angeles, I fell in love with L.A. history. To research my next series, also set in L.A., I take weekly hikes through neighborhoods with historical significance. A few weeks ago, my hiking partner and I planned a hike in the hills of the Pacific Palisades overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where history layered on history. One of the first landmarks was the building pictured behind me that housed actress Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe in 1934, the last place she was seen alive the night of her mysterious death (unsolved) in 1935. Some say her ghost still haunts the halls. That fact was interesting enough, but when I found out that Raymond Chandler reimagined Todd's café into the fictional sidewalk café in FAREWELL MY LOVELY, I had to read the novel before taking the hike! (Who could resist a reason to reread ANYTHING by Chandler? His writing is a treat.) Quoting Marlowe from chapter 8, paragraph three: "...I drove past and gave the sidewalk cafe my business to the extent of using its parking lot." The day of the hike we followed Marlowe's path from the café to the 280 step staircase he climbed to the home of a client in fictional Montemar Vista. So much fun.
Rochelle Staab, pictured holding her copy of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY on the pedestrian bridge crossing Pacific Coast Highway to the roadhouse, is the author of the bestselling Mind for Murder series. Follow her weekly hikes through Los Angeles on Facebook. More info at www.rochellestaab.com