Murder in Disguise
by Mary Miley
Murder in Disguise opens with a murder set in Hollywood in the golden theater/movie days of Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. During the course of the murder investigation, we learn about movie production, vaudeville, prohibition, corrupt law enforcement, gangsters, and the plight of orphans and women workers.
Jessie Beckett, working as an assistant script girl, has a knack for noticing things that others don’t, a talent which she attributes to her vaudeville background. This ability enables her to solve crimes, and she solves this one with the help of one of the few honest cops in L.A., Detective Carl Delaney, who is interested in getting to know Jessie better.
Jessie comes from a difficult background, but wants to leave mistakes of the past behind. Will her boyfriend David stick with his promise to do the same? Can the murderer stop with one crime? How does Jessie relate to a deaf and dumb girl left with one of Jessie’s roommates? The action keeps the plot moving; the characters and setting maintain a high interest level. The time period is well researched and the author includes words such as “copacetic” from the period adding to the authenticity. She follows up the novel with an “Acknowledgments” section that adds notes about the era and several interesting YouTube links.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Severn House for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Notes: #4 in the Roaring Twenties Mystery Series, but good as a standalone
Publication: August 1, 2017—Severn House
Rumors were passed around like Christmas candy and devoured with the same enthusiasm.
La Grande was one of the largest depots of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe line, a great cavern of a place where the footsteps and shouts of a thousand rushing people echoed from the polished floor to the ceiling before being drowned out by the snakelike hiss of steam and the earsplitting squeal of brakes as the monstrous engines pulled into their tracks.
“There’s always another job on the horizon,” my mother used to say. I looked up the street toward home. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see the horizon from where I stood.