Character Profile – Mugsy McGillicuddy

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Al Capone. Lucky Luciano. Meyer Lansky. Bugsy Siegel. As terrible as these gangsters were, they all had one thing in common.  They all, at one point in their lives were heard to say to their henchmen…

“WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T LEAVE ME IN THE SAME ROOM ALONE AS THAT PSYCHOPATH MUGSY MCGILLICUDDY!”

Bald and overweight, Mugsy had, as the old cliche goes, “a face only a mother could love.” The only catch is that a young Mugsy killed his mother in a dispute over his messy bedroom, thus putting him on a crash course with the juvenile justice system and even worse, leaving him with no one to love his butt ugly mug at all.

That was ok by him. Love? He had no use for it. Respect? He could care less. What he wanted more than anything else was to be feared and in his rise to power over the Los Angeles underworld, he spilled more than enough blood to leave the citizenry petrified.

Of course, he never openly admitted to being crooked. Publicly, he relished the “I’m just a legitimate businessman being persecuted by the system” routine whenever the occasional honest cop started sniffing around.

There were few of them.  Half the force was on Mugsy’s payroll. The other half was so frightened they turned a blind eye.  Drugs, prostitution, gambling, racketeering, fraud, extortion…the City of Angels was Mugsy’s oyster.

But he made a grave mistake when forced an up and coming boxer named Jake Dashing aka “The Jersey Jabber” into throwing fights by threatening his then girlfriend, Peaches LeMay.

Jake held a grudge, one that bore juicy fruit years later…

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Character Profile – Muffelia “Muffy” Bordeaux

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Muffy. The Muffster. The Second Mrs. Dashing. She was a Cajun coquette from the Bayou that Jake met when he was at the top of his game, making moolah hand over fist as a private dick to the stars.  A classy broad on his arm, a finely tailored suit jacket on his back and piles of dough in his pocket and Jake was happier than he’d ever been.

Then it all came crashing down when Muffy shot Jake six times then ran off to Tahiti with Jake’s boorish younger brother, Roscoe.  Well, Roscoe thought he was headed to a sunny beach, anyway.  Instead, he ended up taking a dirt nap, feeding the earthworms with his high grade personal protein.

Was Muffy everything she seemed, or was there more to this femme fatale?  That was a mystery for Jake to solve. All he knew was that she was a crack shot, but missed every organ.

If that’s not love, what is?

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Character Profile – Peaches LeMay

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Jazz aficionados the world over know her as Peaches LeMay, the sultry siren of stage and screen who took Hollywood by storm in the 1940’s and 50’s.  To this day, film buffs heap praise on her award winning turn in Away With the Fire, and her singles are staples of any classic music lover’s collection.

But before she became America’s sweetest peach, she was Jake Dashing’s first girlfriend.  To him, she was Hettie May Blodgett, the girl he grew up with in Bayonne, NJ.

As a couple of eighteen year olds with stars in their eyes, Jake and Hettie hopped an LA bound train, hoping for fame and fortune. Jake wanted to be an actor while Hettie had her sights set on singing.

The deal worked out amazingly for Hettie.

As for Jake?  Well, since he’s currently a washed up private dick in the employ of a nerd blogger who is only able to attract a mere 3.5 readers, one might say our favorite gumshoe drew the short end of the stick on this one.

Still, like an Olympic runner, Jake carries a torch for her.  He blames himself for their breakup and thinks of her often.

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Character Profile – Agnes “The Librarian” Abernathy

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She’s a book slinging badass, a master of the Dewey Decimal System, and the faster shusher in the West. She’s Agnes Abernathy, Jake Dashing’s overworked, under appreciated research assistant.

Having held the position of reference librarian at the Montoya Branch Library for decades, she’s seen her beloved book haven shift from a bastion of knowledge for the community to a de facto shelter for down on their luck homeless folk with nowhere else to go.  Ever the public servant, she puts on the happiest face she can and goes out of her way to help her patrons, even though they heap all manner of abuse on her.

Her most difficult customer as of late is one Jake Dashing.  He has no clue how to use computers and bullies Agnes into doing his pop culture homework for him, so much so that Bookshelf Q. Battler often wonders why he doesn’t just fire Jake and hire Agnes, thus cutting out the middle man entirely.

While Agnes routinely reprimands Jake about his laziness and lack of manners, there’s a part of her that doesn’t mind the intrigue that comes with being a pop culture mystery researcher.  Between budget cuts that lower the quality of services her library can provide, a population convinced that the Internet has made libraries obsolete, her retirement looming on the horizon and a husband with failing health to take care of, she begins to look at Jake’s research requests as her chance to add some much needed adventure to her life.

Of course, she won’t tell that bum that.

Be on the lookout for “Agnes’ Indie Book of the Month” in which our resident book jockey will promote books she’d like to see in her library.

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Character Profile – Delilah K. Donnelly, Esq.

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As one of the top power brokers in Hollywood, Attorney Donnelly is the woman the elite call on whenever they’re in a pinch.  From celebrities in need of her remarkable contract negotiation skills to less than savory individuals looking to stay out of the clink, her schedule is full and she has the billable hours to show for it.

Thus, one of the greatest mysteries of all time is why a woman of such an extraordinary high caliber will, without fail, drop whatever she is doing when her pro bono client, Bookshelf Q. Battler, the lowly nerd in charge of Bookshelf Battle, calls on her for assistance.

Her client list includes captains of industry, stars of stage and screen…and a guy with a blog that only attracts the eyes of 3.5 readers.  Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Ms. Donnelly is fiercely loyal to Mr. Battler and he, in turn, speaks of her with the utmost admiration.  Why Ms. Donnelly and Mr. Battler share such mutual respect for one another is a secret they’ve yet been willing to share publicly.

Detective Jake Dashing has made it clear that if he ever runs into Battler, he’ll strangle our beloved nerd into dishing the information he needs to get back to the 1950’s, thus ending this website’s run way too early.

BQB can’t have that, so Ms. Donnelly serves as an intermediary between Dashing and Battler.  She delivers BQB’s pop culture mystery questions to Jake and forwards Jake’s reports to BQB.

Jake has developed an overwhelming crush on Ms. Donnelly.  He’s spent his life searching for his “unicorn” a woman who not only has both brains and beauty but most importantly, doesn’t use those assets for evil purposes.

Our fedora sporting hero is convinced she’s his special lady.  Moreover, as a 1950’s fella, Jake’s aghast by “dames in trousers” and is attracted to Ms. Donnelly’s classic, fashionable style.

It’s a look she’s known for all over Hollywood.  Whether representing a client in court, out for a night on the town, or simply relaxing, Ms. Donnelly has never been spotted wearing anything unworthy of being sent down a fashion show runway.

As head counsel for Donnelly and Associates, her net worth is estimated to be higher than you 3.5 readers can count, though she often donates generously to charitable causes and has been known to advocate for the less fortunate (even people lower than Bookshelf Q. Battler and that’s pretty low).

Few details of Ms. Donnelly’s past are known and she and Battler certainly aren’t sharing them.

Will she ever succumb to Jake’s advances, or will she continue to treat him like the washed up bum that he is?

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Character Profile – Jake Dashing

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His name’s Dashing. Jake Dashing. He’s a sleuth, a gumshoe, a shamus, a private dick, and as of 2015, a less than willing servant for nerd blogger Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Tracking down the answers to questions about entertainment is definitely a step down for this legendary lawman. After all, he did bring down Mugsy McGillicuddy’s LA operation and there are rumors floating about that he even punched Adolf Hitler in the face, thus bringing World War II to a grinding halt with his fists of fury.

Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, a young Dashing fancied himself an actor so he hopped a California bound train with his then girlfriend Hettie Blodgett, who you may know today as Jazz songstress Peaches LeMay.

While Hettie’s star shot straight up, Dashing was quickly advised by Hollywood’s hot shots that he couldn’t carry a movie in a bucket, even with an extra set of hands on the handle.

A down and out Dashing turned to boxing, found fame as “The Jersey Jabber,” but it was fleeting. Mugsy’s boys put him in a pickle and made him take a dive, see?

Peaches only had half the story, assumed her man was a bum, and hightailed it away as fast as her getaway sticks would take her.

Dejected but not defeated, Jake joined the Army, fought in World War II, and, as he tells it, was recruited for a top secret mission to cold cock Der Fuhrer in Der Snotzenboxen.  With that, Jake was set on a life long path of being a perpetrator of daring do, the man that people call on when things need to get done.

After some time in Hong Kong and Cuba, Jake made his way back to the United States, took a job with the LAPD, and made a name for himself as an honest go getter who couldn’t be bought.

Sadly, a fracas with his partner Mickey Finn over allegations of impropriety with his first wife led to Jake quitting the force.

At the time, it seemed like a great decision as he opened his own shop, “Dashing Investigations,” and made a killing airing or hiding celebrities’ dirty laundry, depending on whoever was paying more.

But handle enough dirty laundry and sooner or later the stains are bound to stick on you.  Add a scheming second wife and a drinking problem that chased away his loving third wife, plus one last score to settle with Mugsy and things were bound to go kablooie.

In 1954, feeling crushed under the weight of it all, Dashing parked his keister in his desk chair, laid his head down for a nap, but didn’t wake up again until 2014.

He put that Rip Van Winkle fella to shame.

Cell phones. Computers. Everyone and their uncle has one and they’re never not using them. Political correctness. Dames in pants.

None of it makes sense to a 1950’s man and he wants to get back to his own time pronto, yesterday even.

Bookshelf Q. Battler, the notorious nerd blogger, claims to have the straight skinny on why Jake fell asleep for 60 years and how he can return home. But before he spills the beans, Jake will have to solve 100 pop culture mysteries and file his reports so BQB can file them online.

BQB’s attorney, Delilah K. Donnelly acts as a go between Battler and Jake, and between you and me, Jake’s got a bit of a thing for her.

Then again, he always was a sucker for a pretty face.

 

 

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What is a Pop Culture Mystery?

Hello.

Bookshelf Q. Battler

Bookshelf Q. Battler

I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler, a world renowned poindexter, reviewer of pop cultural happenings, and a champion fighter.

If you’re one of my regular 3.5 readers over at  The Bookshelf Battle Blog,  thank you for following me over here.  If you’re a new reader, thanks for stopping by.  I could always use more readers, though somehow the more I get, my hit counter never gets higher than 3.5.  Weird.

WHAT IS A POP CULTURE MYSTERY?

I’m glad you asked.  A Pop Culture Mystery is a question involving some aspect of the entertainment industry that is so vexing, so confusing, so absolutely confounding that it absolutely boggles the mind.

Some examples:

  • In Star Wars, who shot first? Han or Greedo?
  • How did Doc and Marty from Back to the Future originally meet?
  • What happened to the original Brady spouses?
  • Who let the dogs out?  Who? Who? Who? Who?

SO WHAT IS THIS SITE ALL ABOUT?

I’m glad you asked, new and old readers.

See that bodacious blonde way up in the header of this blog?

That is Ms. Delilah K. Donnelly, my attorney and representative in all matters. Boy, has she saved my oily hide and pulled my bacon out of the fire more times than I can count.

I suppose she won’t always be up there, so here’s another snap of her:

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Delilah K. Donnelly, Esq.

I know. She’s easy on the eyes, but let’s try to keep this professional. She’s an accomplished officer of the court after all, and I could not have put this site together without her adept negotiation skills.

Perhaps you’ve heard of legendary lawman Jake Dashing? History buffs can tell you that he ranks right up there with the likes of Elliot Ness and Melvin Purvis.

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Jake Dashing

Ness brought down Al Capone, Purvis took out John Dillinger and Dashing?  He brought an end to the stranglehold that notorious mobster Mugsy McGillicuddy had on the City of Angels, a miraculous feat that no one ever thought would be possible at the time.

The world has long believed that Dashing died not long after that.  The world is wrong.

He didn’t die.  He just feel asleep at his desk in 1954 and slept for 60 years until he finally woke up again in 2014.

Now that’s some Rip Van Winkle action.

Dashing spent a year trying to figure out what happened to him with no luck.

That’s where I come in. You see, I know why Dashing had a six decade nap. I know how he can get back to the 1950’s, the time period he feels most comfortable in. I know how to return him to his old life.

I should just tell him, right?

Well, that would be the just and moral thing to do but I’m trying to get some stats up in this piece. Unfortunately, that means having to do unsavory things.

Thus, with the help of Attorney Donnelly, I struck a deal with Jake:

  • He’ll solve 100 Pop Culture Mysteries for me and file reports that I’ll publish online.
  • After the 100th report is filed, I’ll tell him what he wants to know.
  • And unfortunately, since Jake’s holding back an intense desire to strangle the shit out of me until I squeal like a pig, he and I will never meet in person. We’ll rely on Ms. Donnelly to be our go-between. She’ll deliver my questions and collect Jake’s reports.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Well, no, not for Jake.  But hey, I know you have your choice of blogs to read so when you’re making that decision, keep in mind there aren’t many bloggers who care enough about your entertainment needs to black mail a badass hardboiled noir detective who could literally murder me with his pinky finger without flinching.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

  • Jake’s had plenty of adventures in his past that he’ll share, and he’ll clue us in to what’s going on as he tries to make it in modern day LA.
  • If you’re a mystery writer, Jake will interview you in his typical private detective style.
  • If you’re a pop culture enthusiast, I’ll deputize you so you can solve a pop culture mystery of your own and promote your work at the same time.

WHEN WILL IT START?

Ah, there’s the rub. Jake’s been filing reports for Bookshelf Battle since June. He grabbed enough attention from my 3.5 readers that I became convinced that he needed a blog of his own.

But I need some time.  So I’ve given myself a deadline of April 1 to get all of Jake’s reports and other material ready to go.

WHAT DO I DO UNTIL THEN?

  • Follow this blog so you’ll be ready to go April 1.
  • If you’ve got a pop culture mystery you’d like to put Jake on, tweet it to me at @bookshelfbattle
  • Check back here as I’ll be posting more updates as April 1 begins
  • Follow and read Bookshelf Battle.  While I’m no Jake Dashing, I am an adventurer in my own right. My blog is a chronicle of my attempts to become a writer, and the aliens, yetis, mad scientists, zombies and other bizarre characters I cross paths with along the way.
  • If you have friends, tell them all about this!  If you don’t have any friends, that really sucks. Take a long, hard look at yourself, make some positive life changes and find a friend! Then tell him or her about my blogs. Remember, the key is to tell them.

I’m very excited about this project and I hope you are too.

Sincerely,

Bookshelf Q. Battler

 

 

 

 

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