Thank you

A while back one of you wonderful commenters recommended the books of Thorne Smith as fun examples of 1930s NYC fiction. I have been reading much Thorne Smith of late and his books are strange and wonderful and full of much usefulness for my research. He wrote Topper which was turned into a marvellous movie of the same name with Cary Grant and Constance Bennett.

Another reader recommended Been Rich All My Life a documentary about the Apollo Theater dancers of the 1930s, which was truly wonderful and made me cry, and also gave me many leads. Because I am at the very beginning of my Harlem research I am embarrassed to confess that I had not heard of Small’s Paradise, a black-owned big nightclub in Harlem, which was also the only integrated nightclub and is now a school. I think Smalls will be making an appearance in the 1930s novel.

Now of course I can’t find either of the comments where those recommendations were made so I can’t find who to thank. All I can hope is that the two of you read this post and put up your hand. In the meantime: THANK YOU!

While I’m at it thanks to all the lovely folks who’ve been sending me links to 1930s sites and other tips and suggestions for the research for what is fast becoming the biggest book I have ever written. So much cool stuff to include! You’re all wonderful!

Please keep the suggestions coming. I’m especially interested in documentaries about the period. Liz Bray, one of the fabulous Alien Onions, told me about the 1930s in colour series that I managed to just miss in Australia and is no longer available on BBC’s iPlayer. But I will get my hands on it. I will!

Sometimes I have to pinch myself on account of the insane amount of fun I’m having with the research and writing this book. Tis almost too fabulous.

Thanks, all!


  1. Julie on #

    When will your book be published? I want to read it!

  2. HollyAnn on #

    Hi, Justine! I contacted the BBC shop to find out if they plan to release ‘The Thirties in Colour’ on DVD and received a cordial reply containing disappointing news; there are no plans to release ‘The Thirties in Colour’ on DVD. I was given another email address to contact and received another polite reply, which stated, “Your correspondence will be kept on file as each quarter we review public enquiries and often revisit titles which are frequently requested.” Perhaps if enough people send emails expressing interest, ‘The Thirties in Colour’ might appear on DVD. Hope this helps! The email address is DVDenquiryline at

  3. DavidK on #

    Hi Justine,

    It might have been me – I mentioned Thorne Smith (along with Ellery Queen) back in late December in the Fred Astaire vs Gene Kelly post. One of my favorite authors, for the wonderful inventiveness of his plots and characters and the lovely sense of place that you get from his books.

    Sorry for the delay in replying. I usually check up on your blog once a week or so, but it’s been a bit hectic, as I’ve been teaching and writing grants and research papers (prof/mad scientist as a University in the States). Looking forward to Liar!

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