Pat H.

Growing up within a freeway’s crawl of Los Angeles, my “3 R’s” were reading, writing and … show business. For me, it wasn’t the romance — tour a Hollywood backlot and you discover how much is make believe. I was always interested in finding out how the magic was made. Today, whatever project I’m on, I’m still looking beyond the facades.


PBS Series “Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen” ~ Articles,Television

Mystery Scene: Thursday, November 30, 2023

A decade ago, British TV presenter Lucy Worsley examined her nation’s obsession with crime.

“Every murder tells a good story,” she said of the British docu-series A Very British Murder, which investigated the real crimes that influenced novelists such as Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, and Graham Greene, and the filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.

Just the Facts: Nonfiction Books Reviewed ~ Articles

Curious about the history of mysteries and the folks who write them?

Capitol Crimes – Intrigue in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches ~ Articles

Mystery Scene, Spring 2022
Like governments, political thrillers come in all forms. Some anticipate true history, others bank on it. Many reflect contemporary anxieties.

Celebs Show Their Claws & Get Catty for Halloween  ~ Articles

Hollywood Outtakes, October 30, 2021
Cuz we luv Yesteryear’s Hollywood, and cuz we’re an unapologetic cat lady, we thought we’d give a nod to the holiday by sharing a treat bag of celebs who dared to show their strong “felines” about Halloween. (Ouch!)

James M. Cain – This Celebrated Hardboiled Writer and Hollywood Proved a Potent Combination ~ Articles

Mystery Scene, Winter 2020
In the world of crime fiction, the name James M. Cain is as ubiquitous as the crisp pop-pop-pop of gunfire and the discovery of a dead body in the opening chapter of a crime novel.

Cain’s writings about rough-edged men, women who are craftier than they appear, and themes like adultery, blackmail and murder, made him the go-to guy for thirties-era fans of the un-put-downable quick-read. He also became known for hot-to-the-touch topics: at a time when few others would dare, Cain didn’t hesitate to write about incest and homosexuality.

But it isn’t easy to compile a dossier on James M. Cain. He defies encapsulation.

A sampling of work product — newspapers, magazines, books — and TV too!


The byline “Pat H. Broeske” has appeared on stories as disparate as an examination of Jim Morrison’s poetry and the ABCs of cataloguing a major archaeological collection. But it’s as a veteran chronicler of Hollywood that Broeske is best known, covering everything from popular trends to the actual business of “the Business.”

Writing credits include: The New York Times, Orange Coast, Emmy, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times (staff writer), Us, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Chicago Tribune, Interview, Soap Opera Digest, Elle, Redbook, Family Circle, Fitness, American Archaeology.

Fascinated by the convergence of “Hollywood & Crime,” Broeske is an experienced producer/writer/consultant for reality docu-drama who has conducted interviews from behind prison bars and in the back seats of squad cars. TV credits include truTV’s “Anatomy of Crime and “Video Justice” for Langley Productions (of “COPS” fame).

Two best-selling biographies, Howard Hughes: The Untold Story (Dutton) and Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley (Dutton) — co-authored with Peter Harry Brown — enjoyed major serializations, and both audio and foreign language editions. Writing … pssst … under her pseudonym of “Katharine Cummings,” Broeske examined the life of Elvis’s daughter in Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Lisa Marie Presley Story (AMI Books). She has also served as a paid consultant for university press publishers.

For many years a UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor, she currently teaches non-fiction writing and film as literature for Saddleback College Emeritus Institute.

A native Southern Californian, Pat H. Broeske makes her home in Orange County with architect-husband James Broeske and a menagerie of rescue cats and dogs. She is a lifelong mystery buff, serving on the board of Orange County Sisters in Crime, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America.

news flash
October 12, 2023

‘The Exorcist’ and its head-spinning legacy

Has it really been 50 years since The Exorcist first scared the bejesus out of everyone? I interviewed the author of the new tribute, The Exorcist Legacy: 50 Years of Fear (2023, Kensington), for a piece that recently popped on the Mystery Scene website.

Nat Segaloff was working as publicity director for a Boston theater chain when Exorcist first opened. He subsequently got to know both filmmaker William Friedkin and author William Peter Blatty, who wrote the 1971 bestseller on which the film is based as well as its Oscar-winning screenplay adaptation. Curious about the Exorcist “curse” (the weird goings-on during the film’s production)? The industry backlash when the movie was nominated for 10 Oscars, but won only two? How about how the film’s star-less cast contributed to the film’s success? In his exhaustive compendium, Segaloff provides all the background details, and explains why the film ranks as a great whodunit.

You can find my piece here:

P.S. Back in 1973, Yours Truly was among the throngs standing in a line that wrapped around an entire city block, waiting to see the movie at the National Theatre in Westwood, California. Hey, it was worth the wait!


Pat H. Broeske

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