A Stoney Winston Mystery
2012 by Jim Stinson
(Hard cover edition originally
published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1991.)
Corrected and reformatted text, August, 2012
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Ah, the romantic, primitive 1980s! No Internet,
Facebook, or Twitter. Telephones tied to the wall. Music on vinyl or
flimsy cassettes and don’t even start on the fashions! Hollywood
wandered in the desert between the lush studio days that were gone
and our flush modern times full of cable and Netflix. Work for film
people was scarce in those days, and Stoney Winston just barely
scraped by. If the 1980s were romantic, Stoney was far too busy
surviving to notice....
a film is photographed “TV-safe,” the shots are composed so that
all essential information is confined within the area displayed on
older TV screens, which cut off the edges of the original picture.
The sound stage flashed
like a giant zircon with each fake facet twinkling in the lights, and
the transparent, Plexiglas, stage-center safe glittered the brightest
of all. Its own special key, fill, and rim lights kissed it as
sweetly as if the safe and the visible cash piles within it were
Bette Davis in close-up. The same lights lacquered the game show
host, Smilin’ Jack Kilparrow in his thousand dollar jacket and two
thousand dollar hairpiece. Ambient radiance splashed off the set and
glazed the first rows of audience, mesmerized by this certified
celebrity who was propping his elbow on one million manifest bucks.
Smilin’ Jack patted the safe and twinkled at camera five, which
stayed on him throughout the show.