It’s always nice to hear about a promising new cozy mystery series. And even nicer when the author, Joanna Campbell Slan, takes the time to visit my blog as she celebrates the release of The Friday Night Mystery Club and reminisces about life in the1980s.
Remembering the 1980s by Joanna Campbell Slan
The Friday Night Mystery Club (FNMC) is the first book in a new flagship series for me. Unlike my other two cozy mysteries, FNMC is set in 1980s rather than contemporaneous times. Of course, I’ve lived through the 80s, but I have to admit, I’d forgotten a lot about life back then. It feels strange to research a time I should know, but I’ve had to do exactly that. Here are a few of the topics that I’ve remembered/researched:
- Car phones – Not the slim cell phones we now use, but honking big things bolted to the floor of our cars.
- Mazda RX-7 – This is my protagonist’s car, and it’s one I owned back then. They no longer sell these in the US.
- Beepers – Because we didn’t have cell phones, we carried beepers that would display the phone numbers of people who wanted a call-back.
- Phone answering machines – These typically had a small cassette tape recorder inside. They were not portable. To access your messages, you had to be there, literally.
- 1-800 lines – Back then, you had to pay extra for long-distance phone calls. An 800 number line allowed people to phone the number free of charge to them…but not to you.
- ERA – The Equal Rights Amendment was a big deal at the time as women strove to codify their rights to equality under the law.
- Career women hurdles – Living as we do now in the “Me, Too” era, it’s easy to forget that back in the 1980s, women who worked outside the home were a brave new species.
- Free love – Helen Gurley Brown had published Sex and the Single Girl, a paean to sex without strings.
- AIDS – At first considered a problem only for gays, the world quickly learned anyone could die from this disease.
These are only a few topics that I’ve considered as I write my new series, The Friday Night Mystery Club. If you, too, have lived through the 80s, I bet you have all sorts of thoughts about the changes we’ve seen. I’m curious…will you share them with me?
About The Friday Night Mystery Club
Decatur, Illinois/1986 – A nasty divorce leaves Cragan Collins with a mountain of bills and her grandmother to support. She takes a job as an ad salesperson for The Gazette. The market is tough, but Cragan finds a mentor in business reporter, Robert Smithson. One icy January day, Robert is found dead in a city park. His murder is dismissed as gay-on-gay crime. Cragan asks The Friday Night Mystery Club to find justice for Robert. Will Cragan’s quest for the truth land her on the obituary page?
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About the Joanna Campbell Slan
Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.
Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul). Currently, she writes six fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), the Tai Chi Mystery Series (featuring a mature female amateur sleuth!) and the Friday Night Mystery Series (set in Decatur, IL in 1986 with a spunky female heroine.)
A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.
In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at https://linktr.ee/jcslan
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