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Renee Patrick Books In Order

Publication Order of Lillian Frost & Edith Head Books

Design for Dying (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dangerous to Know (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Renee Patrick is a pen name used by Vince and Rosemarie, a married couple, to write historical mystery novels.

+Biography

Renee Patrick joined the publishing arena in 2016. The author wasted little time in revealing that he was actually two authors; a research administrator called Rosemarie and a screenwriter by the names of Vince Keenan.

Rosemarie and Vince have been fans of movies for as long as they can remember. The pair grew up in Queens, though it took several years for destiny to drive them together, at which point they discovered their shared love for New York and the movies, in particular, noir.

The couple has made several appearances at noir film festivals. They have also participated in numerous game shows. Rosemarie’s love for film was sparked when she fell ill as a child and spent the week watching movies.

The author will tell you that she wasn’t actually sick but, rather, she lied to stay at home. She probably never anticipated the effect the decision would have on her. Rosemarie found herself drawn to the fashion styles of the early 1930s and 40s. She became obsessed with the costume designers that gave older American movies their authenticity and she can be credited for originating the idea that eventually became Renee Patrick’s first published novel.

Vince came up in the journalism business. His work immersed him in movies and they eventually provided him the nuggets of information through which he and his wife became published authors.

Renee Patrick had no intention of writing a novel about a costume designer that solves murders. The original idea was to produce an article about fashion in noir for a magazine. To produce the article, Rosemarie began exploring the great fashion and costume designers of Hollywood’s history.

As she carried out her research, Rosemarie realized just how much power costumer designers had. The nature of their work was such that they always knew everyone’s secrets. They observed stars and celebrities in their most intimate moments and gleaned truths that most ordinary people would never know.

Rosemarie realized that the right costume designer would make the perfect investigator. And that laid the groundwork for ‘Design for Dying’, Renee Patrick’s first novel.

While Rosemarie originated the idea for a costume designer detective, Vince saw the potential the concept had to use clothing as the window through which the couple could explore the life and lore of Hollywood.

Not many people know that Edith Head, Renee Patrick’s first significant creation and the primary protagonist of the Lillian Frost & Edith Head series, was a real person. Rosemarie came up with the idea of placing Edith at the center of the story.

The costume designer was an iconic figure with her own stamp. She got to interact with a wide variety of celebrities during her work with Paramount. The plan initially involved sending Edith out on her own as a solo detective.

But it soon became clear that Edith’s work was so demanding that she wouldn’t have the time to do all the legwork required to solve mysteries. So the couple created Lillian Frost, an ambitious actress that could interview suspects, collect clues and then report back to Edith.

Renee Patrick imputes his success to the fact that the world is still quite obsessed with Old Hollywood and the author’s books take readers back to those very days. Renee’s stories provide a behind the scenes look into the movie business as it existed in the 1930s and 1940s.

Readers get to see what some of the older Television and film personalities were like when the cameras weren’t rolling. Renee bases a lot of his stories on the events documented in books and guides about old Hollywood.

The author was fortunate to find Edith Head’s own writings, not to mention gossip columns from her day that provided useful information about what life was like for costume designers and their clients in those early days.

Rosemarie and Vince believe that they are best suited to write mysteries set in historical Hollywood because that is the sort of world they obsess over. The couple spends a lot of time at the cinema, catching up on movies both new and old.

When Renee Patrick isn’t digging into Old Hollywood notes, magazines and papers for research purposes, he’s listening to music from the 1930s. The author’s goal is to put himself in the mindset and atmosphere of that long dead era. He also believes that listening to the music his characters would have listened to in the 1930s helps him better understand Edith and Lillian.

For this reason, one is highly likely to find both Rosemarie and Vince listening to old music as they write. In fact, they have admitted to listening to so much old music that they will sometimes speak like characters from the 1930s and 40s.

+Design for Dying
It is 1937 and Lillian Frost is in Los Angeles working as a salesgirl in a department store. Lillian had big dreams. She wanted to be a star. But things didn’t quite work out as she expected. The girl thought her job at the department store would bring her a semblance of peace.

But then her former roommate died and the police decided that they liked her for the crime. Ruby Carroll partied a lot. She died wearing a gown that she stole from the Paramount Pictures Wardrobe Department.

The Wardrobe Department is Edith Head’s domain, and things are not looking too good for her. She has yet to earn the eight Academy Awards she was so sure would decorate her living room and she knows a scandal will only make her job worse.

Edith and Lillian join forces to solve a murder that could ruin both of their lives.

+Dangerous to Know
It is 1938 in Los Angeles. Lillian Frost has taken up work as social secretary to the wealthy Addison Rice.
Things are looking up for Edith Head who now runs the Wardrobe Department at Paramount Pictures.

However, the studio keeps auditioning potential replacements for her, so she knows her position isn’t yet secure.

When another scandal rocks Hollywood, one involving Nazi sympathizers and a dead émigré composer, Edith and Lillian suspend their own lives momentary to solve another case.

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