The Luxurious Fur Coat | Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger | A Slice of Orange

 

My husband, Will Zeilinger and I co-write the Skylar Drake Murder Mystery series, a hardboiled series that takes the reader to 1950s Los Angeles and other areas of the west. Our new book, Slick Deal, begins News Year’s Eve 1956 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the first murder and clues lead to Avalon, Catalina.

One of the challenges of writing a period piece is finding the right styles to dress our characters to match their personality. The rich matron, Mayme Wright, was a challenge because she was an integral part of the story. She lived in a mansion in Avalon. So I researched the beautiful fur coats I remembered ladies wearing in New York, (I was born in Queen) in the 1950s. The feel and the weight of these coats were etched in my memory.

Fur coats were glamorous and dressier than the everyday coat used by most people, i.e., the shopping, doctor appointments, etc. They were cut in the same shapes as everyday coats of the fifties. Certain furs looked better in certain styles. The box coat and swagger style looked best with thick fox, sable and seal fur. Faux furs were an option for the less affluent as well as the cheaper squirrel and marmot dyed to look like sable.

The sleeves were wide and open and collars were high and closed with a longer hair fur piece trimming the collar. To keep with the polished style of fur coats, closures were two or three buttons or clasps on the upper part of the coat. Some box styles coats had a single clasp at the neckline. Pockets were slash openings on the coat sides. The wealthy woman showcased themselves by the fur and beauty of her 1950s fur coat.

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While most fur coats were full length or at least hip length, a few came in shorter waist length styles. The cape coat, popular in the 1940s, remained common into the 1950s. Coats like the short fur Diamond brand coat became increasingly popular in the late ’50s and ’60s when styles changed to the slim sheath dress rather than the full circle dress.

For those who could not afford a full-length coat, fur stoles, muffs and shawls were a popular alternative. Fur trim on short or long jackets also added a touch of richness without the outrageous price tag.

Mayme Wright was wearing her sable full-length coat when she went missing in Avalon.

SLICK DEAL is the fourth in the series and…yes we are still married!

Website:  Janet  Elizabeth Lynn

Website:  Will Zeilinger

SLICK DEAL
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Author Details
Author Details
Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
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    Planning the series, then planning the individual novel in the series takes a great deal of time. It is so easy to get stuck on one idea and not move ahead. The two of us had MANY ideas we threw around.

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    @Will_Zeilinger
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  • Starting a Novel Series with a Partner: The Plotting

    My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write thrillers, the INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams. Our tales transport the reader from 1962 Southern California to various international locales. In the first new book of the series, STONE PUB, we find ourselves in County Cork, Ireland.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

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GAME TOWN

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS

SLICK DEAL

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SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS
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Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
  • Veronica Jorge says:

    Hi Janet and Will, Great info on importance of getting clothing and other detail correct for characters and their time periods. I’m originally from Brooklyn, (live in Macungie, PA now), so I do recall how we all got decked and always “dressed” especially to go
    to “the City.” By the way, I’d like to order one of each of those furs you depicted. I wish!

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