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  • Lynne Shelby

Going Undercover with Jane Risdon

Today I'm delighted to welcome Jane Risdon to my blog with an extract from her book of short crime stories: Undercover: Crime Shorts.

Over to you, Jane...

Lynne, thanks so much for inviting me to share something about myself and an extract from my collection of short crime stories, Undercover: Crime Shorts.

I hope your readers enjoy Sweet Sable (aka the Red Siren). This story is set in 1939 Hollywood and features a jazz singer who has another, much more sinister string to her bow when she is not singing with Desi Garcia’s Syncopators…

Sweet Sable – The Red Siren.

Extract from Undercover: Crime Shorts

by Jane Risdon

Closing the safe door quietly and with an expert spin of the dial, the black clad woman straightened up, slinging the grip with her haul over her shoulder. She stood listening intently before moving towards the office door. Again, she waited, her ears straining, before gently prizing the door open and stepping silently into the corridor of darkened offices; she eased the door closed, calculating she had barely two minutes before the night-watchman made his rounds, trying the doors and checking the building was secure.

The woman headed for the fire escape where she’d made her entrance to the three-storey building some ten minutes earlier. Gently raising the window, she climbed out on to the metal staircase with the athletic grace of a ballet dancer, giving the dark alley below a quick once-over to ensure no-one was around, she hastily made her way down the rusting stairs. Her tar-toned unremarkable and unmemorable automobile was parked across the street, hidden in the gloom of another narrow alleyway. Glancing at her wrist-watch — an expensive pay-off from a married lover — she knew she’d better step on the gas. She’d less than fifteen minutes to get back to the night-club, park her car at the darkest end of the outside lot, and leg it back to her dressing-room with enough time to change into her gown for her last set of the evening.

The red head chuckled to herself as she repaired her lipstick, pouting seductively at herself in the mirror, waiting for the stagehand to knock on her door with her final call. She was buzzing. She’d done it again; she’d pulled it off. It was better than any sex she’d ever had, and that was saying something. She chuckled, puckered her ample lips, and blew herself a huge wet kiss.


As the spotlight found its mark the bandleader nodded to the scarlet-clad shapely figure who took up position in front of the microphone. Her hips swayed in time to the jazz trumpet, and she took her cue. Her sultry sable-clad tones sucked her audience into her lair.

The figures outlined in the flickering candlelight adorning circular tables dotted around the smoke hazed, expectant venue, stopped talking and turned their heads towards the elevated stage where Desi Garcia’s Syncopators went into full swing behind Sweet Sable, also known as the Red Siren — neither was her real name but no-one cared. When her song ended there was a moment’s silence before they pounded their tables shouting, ‘more, more.’

Sweet Sable wiggled her slender but shapely hips, leaned over the stage giving more than an eye-full of her full bosom on display in her tight-fitting strapless gown, and blew huge smackers into the air, aimed at no-one particularly, but the full-blooded men in the audience got the message and so did their partners who silently seethed.

Her set over for the evening Sweet Sable made her way back to her dressing room, accepting compliments and congratulations on her ‘wonderful performance,’ smiling, blowing kisses, and with a toss of her luxurious red mane, closed her dressing room door to keep the stage door Johnnies out. There was always a small stud congregated outside her door and gathered around the stage door, following her shows. Sometimes she allowed a particularly handsome or obviously loaded guy inside, who was good for a dinner or two — or for something else — if rich enough. They were ripe for the picking, such patsies.

This evening Sweet Sable was anxious not to have any company. She had plans and getting pawed by a fawning, slobbering man who felt ‘entitled’ after giving her dinner, was not part of them. She had to get her haul to a safe place so she could take a proper look at it before deciding what she had to do. Sweet Sable loved having options – and she had plenty.


Thank you so much, Jane, for sharing this fab extract from Undercover: Crime Shorts.


If you would like to purchase Undercover: Crime Shorts (Plaisted Publishing), and read more of Jane's short stories, please click on the following link:

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon is the co-author of ‘Only One Woman,’ with Christina Jones (Headline Accent), and author of ‘Undercover: Crime Shorts,’ (Plaisted Publishing), as well as having many short stories published in numerous anthologies. She also writes for several online and print magazines such as Writing Magazine, and The Writers’ and Readers’ Magazine.

Undercover: Crime Shorts was the February Free Book of the Month on the virtual library and festival site,, and her live video interview features in their theatre. She is a regular guest on international internet radio shows such as,, and The Brian Hammer Jackson Radio Show.

Before turning her hand to writing Jane worked in the International Music Business alongside her musician husband, working with musicians, singer/songwriters, and record producers. They also facilitated the placement of music in movies and television series.

To purchase Only One Woman, please click on the following link:

For more information about Jane Risdon and her writing, please click on the following links:

Representation: Langton’s Literary Agency in New York City, New York USA.

1 Comment

May 14, 2021

Lynne, thanks so much for hosting me and allowing me to share a little taster from Sweet Sable (The Red Siren) from Undercover: Crime Shorts. I really appreciate it. I do hope your readers and followers enjoy it. She was great fun to write and I had to use research into my husband's family history to discover more about Hollywood in the 1930s when his great aunt, Elizabeth Risdon, was at the height of her career as an actress.

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