Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson and William Link co-created that perennial hit MURDER, SHE WROTE starring the great Angela Lansbury. The show was a hit for 11 years and won the Best TV Drama at the 1985 Golden Globe Awards. During the past 30 years, the show is still going strong with audiences in re-runs.
Mr. Fischer served as Executive Producer for the first seven years of the show and wrote more than 50 scripts. As producer, he won two Golden Globes from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Best Television Drama and in 1985, received an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America.
After an illustrious 25-year career in network television, in 2011, Fischer turned to writing THE HOLLYWOOD MURDER MYSTERIES. This is a series of 16 novels written one book for each year, beginning in 1947 and ending in 1962. He has combined two of his great loves—writing mysteries and historic Hollywood—to create these unique mysteries.
“I love old movies. The first time I wrote my Hollywood mystery, I said it might work. I center my mysteries on making a movie. It worked like a charm with my first book. The stars are not suspects,” Fischer explained. “They’re not evil people or nasty. I’m very careful. They are not an integral part of the mystery, just peripheral characters.” For example, in his Book Three LOVE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, he combines the mystery with the classic film WHITE HEAT and its stars, James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, and Edmond O’Brien. “I invent scenes which include the actors, directors and writers associated with each picture.”
Each book stands alone. The main character is Joe Bernardi, a publicist for a movie studio who acts as the detective. The series also covers his personal life as a thread through all the mysteries. “I am arcing story lines from one book to the next as Joe matures and the circumstances of his life change from year to year,” Fischer explained.
THE HOLLYWOOD MURDER MYSTERIES have been very well received.
Kirkus in their book reviews called WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING BADGES “a thrilling mystery packed with Hollywood glamour, intrigue and murder set in 1948 Mexico;” JEZEBEL IN BLUE SATIN is called “an enjoyable fast-paced whodunit from opening act to final curtain;” and PRAY FOR US SINNER “a thrilling Hollywood whodunit set in Canada.”
In the 2014 BookExpo America, NICE GUYS FINISH DEAD was a Finalist in the Mystery Category of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards. The Grove Point Press was honored with a Bronze Medal at the Ippy Awards “honoring Peter Fischer for his great work.”
Eight mysteries in the 16-series have been released and the ninth is on its way. Fischer has also written his memoir, ME AND MURDER, SHE WROTE.
In addition to MURDER, SHE WROTE, Mr. Fischer was involved for many years with “a love of his life,” COLUMBO starring Peter Falk, first as story editor and later as a producer. He also wrote 12 ninety-minute and two-hour episodes for the series. He wrote several movies of the week; his first, THE LAST CHILD, was nominated for an Emmy for Best TV Movie. He also wrote for many popular TV series, including THE EDDIE CAPRA MYSTERIES, THE LAW AND HARRY McGRAW, MARCUS WELBY, MD, KOJAK, BARETTA, MacMILLAN AND WIFE, and ELLERY QUEEN, which he also produced.
When asked to compare TV shows today with those that were produced 30 years ago, Fischer commented: “Then there were only three major networks and FOX was just starting. Now there are so many cable networks plus NETFLIX—there are endless opportunities. Today’s shows have much more adult themes, some are really excellent.”
“It was hard to write a mystery at first,” Fischer commented. “Writing a script is easier. You’d write ‘exterior, lovely mansion’ and the set or art director would have to find it. But with a novel, I have to describe that mansion.
“I’m having a wonderful time writing these mysteries,” he continued. “It’s a great experience. I’m having the time of my life.” He calls his mysteries fast reading, a nice beach read. And they are delightful.
More information on Peter Fischer and to purchase his books, please visit www. thegrovepointpress.com. His books are also available at Amazon.com, and can be ordered at any local bookstore.