He is a writer with a conscience—his characters reflect the world and he has an uncanny ability to make them sympathetic—but he is also an immensely entertaining storyteller.
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In Ed Gorman, in his second published novel, introduced his first private detective, Jack Dwyer. Dwyer is a former cop who got the acting bug after being cast in a local public safety commercial. It is a richly detailed detective novel strong on story and scored with a thought provoking working class commentary. He is not a saint, and is unable to right many, if any, wrongs, but he notices the humanity around him.
More importantly, he understands humanity in all its beauty, frailty and brutality. It is a neighborhood forgotten by time and left to crumble and tarnish new generations with a hard scrabble existence. It is a place where dreams die, girls become hard and old before they reach maturity, and a place where the lowest rung of humanity struggles to survive. In the novel this hopelessness and poverty is juxtaposed with the comparatively well off. The professional classes and the downright wealthy. Dwyer is unable to claim membership in either class—he was raised in one and has never been able to fully gain access to the other.
The conflict of class is personified by an old classmate and friend named Karen Lane. Karen seemingly escaped her childhood poverty, but she gave herself away in the attempt. She is a woman-girl desperately trying to erase her own bitter world with her sex, and while her surroundings changed, for a time at least, she was never able to completely overcome the poverty of her childhood. There was a sense of violation here, a beast holding trapped a fragile beauty. It is a narrative of loss and disappointment; the loss of time, the slow crawl to death, and the disappointment of failure.
Jack appeared in only one novel, and while he would have made a wonderful serial character, his story is seemingly complete in a single volume. Jack operates a one man private investigation shop, smokes six cigarettes a day and has an on again off again relationship with a woman nearly half his age named Faith Hallahan. She is the mother of an month old boy named Hoyt—she claims Jack is the father—and Faith is nearly certain she has breast cancer. Faith, like many of Mr.
She is described with an intimate fondness. He truly loves Faith and Hoyt. There are several tender scenes between the three, which develops a visceral intimacy. Mask of Night : With Elizabeth I's death imminent in , and the bubonic plague spreading, Nick and his troupe head to Oxford to perform Romeo and Juliet in an attempt to avert bloodshed between two contemporary feuding families; then Shakespeare's friend is found dead in a locked backstage room on opening night.
Nick's troupe is helping to celebrate an impending peace treaty between England and Spain by performing a short play. Courtier Sir Philip Blake is among the cast, but his descent from the heavens at the drama's climax is more rapid than planned, resulting in his gory death. Groucho Marx, Master Detective : Set in Groucho persuades Denby former police reporter, now scriptwriter for Groucho's radio show , to help him figure out who killed Peg McMorrow, a starlet with whom Groucho had had a brief relationship.
Groucho Marx, Private Eye : Set in When a leading plastic surgeon and drug supplier to the Hollywood elite is found shot to death and a faded star named Frances London is arrested for the crime, London's daughter, who sings on Groucho's radio show, asks Groucho and Denby to clear her mother's name. On board the Super Chief train, Groucho scares an intruder out of producer Daniel Manheim's room; , who wants to harm Manheim, and why?
Once in New York, events take a nasty turn as a real body appears in place of a dummy on a Broadway stage from Booklist review. Groucho and Denby investigate the death of British director Eric Olmstead. Groucho and Denby investigate the murder of Randy Spellman, a libidinous actor who plays a Tarzan-like character.
And when the leading man takes his role too much to heart in a gruesome final act, Tom finds his professional skills are called upon. Hastings gets a call from an old friend, now a producer of summer stock theater in rural Connecticut. An actor has dropped dead of a heart attack, and a last-minute replacement is needed for the leading role in George Bernard Shaw's 'Arms and the Man.
Hardwick, Mollie Perish in July : A local parish production of an operetta seems a welcome comic relief for antiques dealer and amateur sleuth Doran Fairweather and her ex-vicar husband.
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But the hot summer reaches its peak and Doran finds herself looking for a killer again. Fifth Doran Fairweather mystery. But something wicked is poisoning a local summer stock production as cast members stab each other in the back and props are sabotaged. Set in Elizabethan England. A chance meeting in a fetish club with an old friend leads to a new job for Sam -- and now while making mobiles for an avant-garde production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', she discovers a decomposing corpse in the basement under the theater. Series sleuth Sam Jones is a London sculptor.
Dalziel has been picked to play God in a local Mystery Play, but can he live up to his role by solving this puzzling psychological thriller Three recent, seemingly random murders are connected when elderly Emily Charters identifies the victims as fellow members of the audience at a performance of 'Love's Labour Lost' at a small North Side storefront theater. Emily goes to the police with her observation, but only after more killings does Ransom finally believe that the audience must have witnessed something that incriminates the killer.
Ransom at the Opera : Emily Charters is present in the audience on opening night at Chicago's new Sheridan Center for the Performing Arts, watching two relatively unknown singers playing Don Jose and Carmen in a controversial and innovative production of 'Carmen', when, in the last act, Don Jose falls dead of an apparent pulmonary edema. Innes, Michael Hamlet, Revenge! Literary mystery with Shakespearian theme, involving murder during a private performance of 'Hamlet. Donovan is confronted with murder-by-crossbow at a performance of 'Casablanca: The Musical.
James, P. Actress Clarissa Lisle, famous for her ravishing beauty and her unscrupulous manipulations, has been receiving increasingly malicious death notes and so hires Cordelia to serve as her bodyguard as she heads to an island castle off the coast of Dorset to star in a private performance of Webster's blood-curdling tragedy of 'The Duchess of Malfi'. Jance, J. Beaumont, whose teenaged daughter Kelly has run off, leading the sober-but-struggling sleuth to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where he comes upon a case of cold-blooded murder.
Kaminsky, Stuart M. Tomorrow is Another Day : It's , and part-time Hollywood detective Toby Peters teams up with Clark Gable, who has received a poem linking him to a series of deaths some projected. Toby can't prevent the next killing, and further messages lead to more deaths, with all the victims having one thing in common: they had been extras in Gone with the Wind five years before during the burning of Atlanta scene when another extra was killed with a sword and his death covered up from Publishers Weekly review.
In their third case, PR person Hilary Quayle and her assistant Gene solve a present day murder and also discover the identity of Banquo's third murderer, solving a mystery which has baffled scholars for years. Keating, H. Who is the corpse and was the bombing a murder plot? The Temporary Detective : Aspiring actress Isobel Spice arrives in New York City fresh out of college, with few skills, but after being rejected by seven temp agencies, she sweet-talks newbie recruiter James Cooke into letting her cover a sudden vacancy at a bank.
By lunchtime, Isobel stumbles across a dead secretary in a bathroom stall. Bad Publicity : Isolbel is now temping at a public relations agency, where she unwittingly serves an important client a deadly dose of poisoned coffee. Turns out that the dead client was the fraternity brother of her recruiter pal James Cooke, who got Cooke expelled from college. And Justice for Some : Isobel and best friend Delphi are performing in a cheesy interactive murder mystery at a judge's lifetime achievement dinner when Isobel's dramatic death scene is upstaged by a real murder.
Offed Stage Left : Isobel, now working in regional theater with a supporting role and as understudy for the lead in 'Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa,' becomes a suspect after a series of minor backstage accidents culminates in the suspicious death of the leading lady. So was the cast party. Especially when the body of Sisu Porter washed ashore.
Death Takes a Bow : Pam and Jerry North investigate the death of an international author who falls off the stage at the start of a lecture. Was it accidental, suicide or murder? Death Of an Angel : The richest investor in a Broadway smash hit dies after having a romance with the leading lady.
Pam and Jerry North investigate. Mystery writer Peter Piper was jinxed. Whenever she started to write a story based on real people, sudden death invariably struck one of the principal characters. So she should have known better than to promise to do a play -- a murder melodrama at that -- for the local theater group. Lovesey, Peter Abracadaver : A Sergeant Cribb mystery, set in the world of the music halls of 19th-century London.follow site
New, Improved Murder: A Jack Dwyer Novel
Features Boston couple Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn, specialists in art and antiques investigation. A story of murder onstage during a Broadway revival of Sardou's 'F? Malmont, Valerie Death, Snow and Mistletoe: A Tori Miracle Mystery : Tori, as editor of the Lickin Creek, PA newspaper, is busy covering the community theater's annual Christmas pageant a Wiccan-cum-Shakespearean adaptation of 'The Nutcracker' when two of the pageant's middle-aged sugar plum fairies are murdered.
Vintage Murder : Alleyn plays leading man to a Maori idol, and an on-stage killer. Overture To Death : When someone shoots the aging town gadfly as she sits down to play the overture for an amateur theatrical production, Inspector Alleyn must sort through the clues to determine who in town could have committed the crime.
Enter a Murderer : A murder takes place on stage at the Unicorn Theatre during a performance but only two people -- the murderer and Inspector Alleyn -- know it's more than just a piece of inspired acting. Night at the Vulcan : aka Opening Night. After the death of a leading man on opening night, Inspector Alleyn must read between the lines to expose a desparate interplay of backstage relationships and upstage a master murderer. Killer Dolphin : The old Victorian Dolphin Theatre has a hit play, inspired by the discovery of a remarkable Shakespearean glove. But late one evening, greed overcomes one of the performers, compelling him to steal the valuable glove and to commit a hideous murder in the attempt.
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Light Thickens : Peregrine Jay, owner of the Dolphin Theatre, is putting on a magnificent production of Macbeth, the play that, superstition says, always brings bad luck. One night, the claymore swings and the dummy's head is more than real: murder has taken place behind the scenes. Fortunately, Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn is in the audience.
The Queen's Head : First in the series. Murder at the Spa Murder at Teatime Murder on the Cliff Murder on the Silk Road : Asked to track a Buddhist sculpture that has vanished from a wealthy estate, Charlotte Graham sets aside her guidebooks and searches for clues in China's mystical caves. Murder at the Falls Murder on High : Actress-turned-sleuth Charlotte Graham jumped at the chance to investigate the mysterious murder of Iris Richards. What deadly secrets did Iris take with her on her long fall down Knife Edge Mountain? Murder Among the Angels Murder under the Palms : A former movie star turns sleuth is enjoying a glamorous charity ball and her reunion with a famed band leader until a renowned jewelry designer is stabbed to death at the party.
Watson : Sherlock Holmes matches wits with his most compelling antagonist, The Phantom of the Opera. The Palais-Royal was the scene of much gaiety and a constant round of pleasures -- perfect cover for darker activities such as the murder of a Parisian actress. That same evening, her lover, Antoine Dubois, died in a fatal fall. Word of Antoine's death is carried to his stepdaughter, Anne Cartier, a young vaudeville actress with the Sadler's Wells company in London. The headstrong Anne enlists the aid of the messenger, Colonel Paul de Saint-Martin, and his adjutant, Georges Charpentier, to cross to France and investigate.
Julia must have had something worth killing her for, and Mici figures whoever has it now must be her killer. Parker, Robert Walking Shadow : When the star of a poorly rated and controversial stage production is shot mid-scene, Spenser and his sidekick, Hawk, comb the shabby waterfront town and find a cast of likely suspects among the underworld. The theatre world of New York is rocked when a number of prominient professionals become the victims of viciously personal attacks.
Related Murder in the Wings: A Jack Dwyer Novel (The Jack Dwyer Mysteries Book 3)
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