The Unanswered Question
Janet Winston Rogers
Novelist and Journalist
Janet Winston Rogers is a well known writer. In the 1930s she worked as a hard-hitting investigative journalist, mostly for the Los Angeles Mirror and its crusading editor Norman Rogers, whom she married in 1932 and divorced in 1935. She is the daughter of Walter Winston, the noted composer, who died in 1940.
During 1937 she became almost obsessed with discovering the circumstances surrounding an unusual incident in the San Fernando Valley that resulted in over twenty deaths; her father was one of only two survivors. This led to extensive travels with Jimmy Wright, whom she had met in New York City in 1926.
The result of this research was not an expose but a novel, Eternal Lies (1939), a strange and fantastic tale of mystery and horror that introduced William “Willie” St. James, an amoral mercenary who breaks the heart of one of the story’s heroines. Eternal Lies was well-reviewed but only sold modestly. Her follow up novels, Parisian Howl, The Lights of Ngorongoro, and Sea of Danger sold progressively better. Prequels to Eternal Lies, these novels show a gentler treatment of Willie St. James, who with his partner Xavier O’Toole race around the world trying to prevent the invasion of the Dark Lord’s alien minions.
Janet Winston Rogers still lives in Los Angeles, and is the president of the local chapter of the Mystery Writers of America.