The First in the Raymond Gray Mystery Series
As I wrote in Part 1, Island Times Three takes place in two locales in 1952.
One question I was asked is: If the story takes place in two locales, why is the title Island Times THREE? Good question!
It’s such a good question–and I applaud the questioner’s perceptiveness–that I will only say one must check out the cover!
What Was It Like in 1952 for Island Times Three?
As I also wrote in my last post, I collect vintage magazines. The following ads are taken from a variety of 1952 issues, including Companion, The American Home, Household, Living for Young Homemakers and McCalls.
The car of choice in Island Times Three is a 1951 Roadmaster convertible, a gift to actress Catherine Allen from the movie studio.
But this car ad–for an upcoming 1953 Dodge, is billed as an “Active Car for Active Americans!”
While a television set isn’t featured in Island Times Three, the first chapter of The Numbers Runner, its sequel, finds Raymond and his secretary, Joonie, discussing a Saturday night television program.
While Catherine Allen does not wear a mink coat in the story (as it takes place in Florida), I’d like to think she would wear one similar to this to a flashy gala or movie premier.
These Wear-Ever coffee pots would be similar to the one Raymond uses to make his too-strong coffee at the Gilbert Cottage. Water is added to the bottom, and coffee is added to a basket at the top. When the water boils, it is forced through a vertical tube attached to the basket. With this method, the coffee can be cycled many times, making a very strong cup of coffee!
Of course, all this could be avoided if he drank instant coffee like Nescafe. He would just put a teaspoon or two in a cup and add hot water.
Since Lustre-Creme Shampoo is good enough for actress Virginia Mayo, I suspect Miss Catherine Allen would use it since “Famous Hollywood Stars Use Lustre-Creme Shampoo for Glamorous Hair.”
Bakers Coconut makes a simple cake yummy, and it’s a favorite of Miss Allen’s. She orders it at Jerry’s restaurant when she and Raymond meet Sergeant Kempler.
The last ad for this post is for Coty make-up. Miss Allen may have used this “Instant Beauty” liquid tinted base, and even Joonie would have appreciated the “Air Spun” face powder.
Island Times Three–A Raymond Gray Mystery
Sanibel Island is far removed from Manhattan, and more than once Raymond’s frustrations stem from the island’s remoteness and the difficulty in contacting Joonie, his secretary, for the vital information needed to crack the case.
What starts out as a simple job involving blackmail quickly turns into something more sinister, and the island’s remoteness is both an advantage and inconvenience to the detective.
It’s a tricky case for Raymond, and he’ll need to rely on sheer instinct before it’s solved!
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