Jumping Ship, But Not Overboard by Elizabeth Crowens

Stephen King has done it. J.K. Rowling has done it with a pen name. What am I talking about? When an author writes in more than one genre. I don’t consider The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile as horror, and yet, they are probably my two favorite stories by King. Not quite Carrie, Christine, or Cujo, and the woman who wowed us with the boy wizard wrote the Cormoron Strike mystery series under the Muggle name of Robert Galbraith. Unless we are at the top of the A-list, all of us writers have been told that we need to create our “brand” and grow our fanbase and readership. So how does one do this when we become known in one particular genre, and all the sudden we make a turnaround? Good question, because I’m learning that as I go along.

My first novel was Silent Meridian, Book One in the Time Traveler Professor series. In a nutshell, it’s a 19th century X Files meets H.G. Wells’ Time Machine, featuring Arthur Conan Doyle and his paranormal enthusiast, John Patrick Scott. Technically, its genre is considered alternate history, which falls under the umbrella of science fiction fantasy. Although I have one more book to write in that series, I’ve become far more enthusiastic about writing Hollywood-themed mysteries since I’m a film fanatic and worked in the entertainment industry for many years and felt the need to incorporate all my knowledge and experience into a series or two.

When inspiration struck to create a “soft-boiled” (as opposed to hard-boiled or noir) private eye series with humor with a female protagonist, I chose the 1940s in Hollywood—a far cry from two curious Victorians who wind up traveling back in time to feudal Japan in the first novel. However, I will drop a little hint. My new novel has something to do with Sherlock Holmes.

Since I attended a lot of different science fiction fantasy, mystery, and pan-genre writers conventions since 2012, networking like crazy, I didn’t want to create another pen name (Crowens is a nom de plume) and confuse readers, but I made it clear in my swag, on panels, and through social media that I was switching my focus. Have I given up on the former? No. Although I haven’t attended any speculative fiction conferences since before the pandemic, I will revisit my first World Fantasy Convention this year just to stay in touch with friends and let them know what I’m up to now.

Hounds of the Hollywood Baskervilles Synopsis

Asta, the dog from the popular Thin Man series, has vanished, and production for his next film is pending. MGM Studios offers a huge reward, and that’s exactly what young private detectives Babs Norman and Guy Brandt need for their struggling business to survive. Celebrity dognapping now a growing trend, when the police and city pound ridicule Basil Rathbone and ask, “Sherlock Holmes has lost his dog?” Basil also hires the B. Norman Agency to find his missing Cocker Spaniel.

The three concoct a plan for Basil to assume his on-screen persona and round up possible suspects, including Myrna Loy and William Powell; Dashiell Hammett, creator of The Thin Man; Nigel Bruce, Basil’s on-screen Doctor Watson; Hollywood-newcomer, German philanthropist and film financier Countess Velma von Rache, and the top animal trainers in Tinseltown. Yet everyone will be in for a shock when the real reason behind the canine disappearances is even more sinister than imagined.

Purchase Links:

You can purchase Hounds of the Hollywood Baskervilles, the first book in Elizabeth’s new humorous mystery series on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/1685125425/ref=sr_1_1

Limited signed copies are currently available at The Mysterious Bookshop. https://www.mysteriousbookshop.com/products/elizabeth-crowens-hounds-of-the-hollywood-baskervilles-preorder-signed-paperback 

Elizabeth Crowens is bi-coastal between Los Angeles and New York. For over thirty years, she has worn many hats in the entertainment industry, contributed stories to Black Belt, Black Gate, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazines, Hell’s Heart, and the Bram Stoker-nominated  A New York State of FrighAt, and has a popular Caption Contest on Facebook. Awards include: Leo B. Burstein Scholarship from the MWA-NY Chapter, NYFA grant to publish New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst, Eric Hoffer Award, Glimmer Train Awards Honorable Mention, Killer Nashville Claymore Award Finalist, two Grand prize, and three First prize Chanticleer Awards. Crowens writes multi-genre alternate history and historical Hollywood mysteries. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter to receive free eBooks of Best of the Caption Contests.


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