Neo-Noir, with a touch of Dirty Martini-flavored Spy Fiction, and the thrill of extravagant pulp magazines.
Cases of Crime & Beauty is a historical crime thriller taking place during the Cold War, when Communist paranoia reached its zenith, Hollywood entered its Golden Age, the Mob ruled the studios and cities, the 1950s entered an all-time fabulous low, and the 1960s became ripe with JFK conspiracy theories. The series is based on mid-century Mob & CIA collaborations, both real and imagined.
It follows the lives of five main characters: A glamorous Hollywood femme fatale spy, a deadly elegant steel magnolia, a classic hard-boiled secret agent. a decadent turncoat anti-villain, and an absolute gangster wild card. They each bring unique perspectives as well as challenges to the missions that their respective agencies task them with. The lives of the quintet parallel each other in the beginning, before crossing paths in the middle, and eventually coming to a full circle by the end of the series.
All through the series, they face the trials & tribulations of the psycho-chemical warfare that invaded all fronts of the CIA, FBI, MI6, & KGB. They also encounter key players in the National Crime Syndicate and learn to deal with organized crime. Throughout their negotiations with them, they discover their syndicated involvement in the mind-altering drug trade. Eventually, their stakes in the Havana Mob come to light in the CIA's ultimate plan to assassinate the Cuban Communist, Fidel Castro, with LSD-laced Cuban cigars and hypnotic mind-control. Little do they know, however, that said stakes play a greater role in the oncoming downfall of US president, John F. Kennedy...
Cases of Crime & Beauty is currently in production. It is supervised by professional writing & publishing centers in the Greater Boston area.
Spy dramas, hard-boiled detective fiction, Mob dealings, Cold War paranoia, and horrible Hollywood...all rolled into one elegantly tied, romantic, action-packed, tragic package.
The characters within the Crime & Beauty series hail from a time when Old Hollywood glamour was cherished, and men in dapper suits were celebrated. They are the composite of several real-life, undercover Hollywood spies, as well as some famous fictional secret agents. Some have been inspired by starlets who led a more typical celebrity life without the mob affiliation nor espionage glamour. Others have taken influence from people I know in real life.
I craft my characters with much love, often incorporating aspects of my interests and personal experiences into their personalities. The writing partners I've met—both online and in real life—helped shaped my story as well. Their own Original Characters have become such a major inspiration in my writing.
The essence of the Crime & Beauty series also takes major cues from the pioneers of Noir and Spy fiction, many of whom got their start in the extravagance of pulp magazines: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Sir Ian Fleming, Robert Ludlum, etc.
You can find more in-depth information about each character—and the people they've been inspired by—in the 'Cast & Crew' page. If you are interested in the sources for my cast and plot, then you can check out the 'Resources' page for more info.
— J.S. Blaylock
J.S. Blaylock is a patriotic US Air Force wife, a lifetime US Navy brat, and a cosmopolitan 3rd-Culture Kid. She was born in the Philippines and raised in Japan, before her family relocated to the US. She hails from the infamous Mob city of Las Vegas, Nevada. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Nevada State College,
She is a lover of all things vintage & retro, darker & edgier music, Gothic Horror novels, pulp fiction, erotica that touches the soul, old-time war-time romances, B-grade Horror & Psychobilly aesthetics, Kustom Kulture, and 1950s/60s kitsch counter-culture in general.
When she is isn't day-dreaming about her favorite characters, she's either living a healthy & active lifestyle, painting/illustrating, playing the piano, playing video games, board games with friends, or watching movies & television.
Aside from Noir & crime thrillers, J. S. Blaylock also loves to read and write (erotic) romance, drama, and tragedy.
As a military spouse diagnosed with ADHD-C & Anxiety—as well as having familiarity with the mental health of the military population—J. S. Blaylock hopes that her writing inspires those in the service who face these struggles. She is eternally grateful for her writing partners, fellow high school alumni/musicians of the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, as well as friends in the armed forces: military counselors, servicemen & women, spouses, veterans, and fellow 3rd-culture brats alike—all who have helped her in this writing journey.