The glamour days of Hollywood are brought to life in this Noir(ish) mystery. If you’re longing for the days of elegance and slimy film directors – this may be your read.
The book follows two actresses as they try and participate in the system of becoming and remaining actresses. While the key character, Lyman Wilbur writer and part-time sleuth is back, the story concentrates more on the lives and exploits of actresses Priscilla (aka Pamela Carr) and Anna. Each trying to be a strong woman at a time when it was not the norm, these characters face some of the challenges of the Golden Age of Hollywood. While this book is a continuation for the character Lyman Wilbur, the story can easily be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone.
I could almost hear the click-clack of a manual typewriter as I enjoyed the light cynical touch to the characters in this book.
This is Hollywood, 1948. You are a beautiful young actress. He is a rich and powerful film producer. He can make you a star or send you back to the sticks, and you have something he wants, right now. What are you willing to do? How much of yourself are you willing to give?
Priscilla Preston and her husband Ken are struggling New York actors when Priscilla is picked as the lead in a new movie and goes to Hollywood. Studio head Morton Blackwell is a despotic, charming monster who tries to control everything and everyone he touches. Priscilla quickly has her name changed to Pamela Carr and becomes Blackwell’s lover. Husband Kenny Preston is upset and troublesome about the loss of his wife, but he conveniently dies from an overdose of booze and pills. Was it an accident, a suicide, or perhaps something else?
Anna Andrzejewski is a recent immigrant from the ashes of bombed-out Berlin trying to succeed in a Hollywood that may not be ready to accept a blonde, Nordic beauty with a complicated past.
Screenwriter/mystery author Lyman becomes involved in the lives of both Pamela and Anna in the midst of his own crisis.
The story travels from wartime Germany to the “wartime” Broadway of struggling, hopeful actors, to the studios, offices, homes and beaches of Southern California. It is derived from real Hollywood scandals involving some of the most famous and most tragic figures of the classic studio era.