Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Silent Murders by Mary Miley

First Line: Turns out vaudeville doesn't prepare you for Hollywood.
Jessie Beckett has a new name, and she's working hard to make a new life for herself as an assistant script girl in Hollywood for the Pickford-Fairbanks Studio. Thrilled to get an invitation for herself and her friend, Myrna Loy, to movie studio bigwig Bruno Heilmann's swanky party, she's surprised to find an old family friend there. However, the next morning, she learns that both the family friend and Bruno Heilmann were brutally murdered sometime during the wee hours of the morning.

Jessie's talents and the fact that she doesn't have an easily recognizable face make her a perfect choice to help her boss, legendary actor Douglas Fairbanks. It seems that his wife Mary Pickford's sister may come under police scrutiny for Heilmann's murder, and that could have dire consequences for Pickford's reputation in headline-hungry Hollywood. Fairbanks will do anything to protect his beloved wife.

Yes, Jessie is perfectly positioned to dig into the circumstances behind the murders, but she may also be putting herself right in the path of a killer.


I enjoyed The Impersonator, the first book in Mary Miley's Roaring Twenties series so much that I knew I'd be coming back for more. Silent Murders does not disappoint. In the first book, Jessie was hired to impersonate an heiress. Growing up in vaudeville had given her all the tools for deception that she needed for this role. Now she's on the straight and narrow with a new name and a new life in Hollywood.

Jessie is just the sort of wise-cracking, thinks-on-her-feet, good-hearted sort of character that I enjoy, and there's something about the Roaring Twenties and the silent film industry that draws me like a magnet. I liked how Miley blended fact and fiction in the sort of story that would blend in seamlessly with the actual Hollywood history of the era. Her use of real-life people like Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Myrna Loy rang true, with Fairbanks and Pickford accustomed to their roles as silent film royalty and Loy as a young girl just beginning to break into the movies. A young Gary Cooper can even be seen on the sidelines from time to time.
The movie industry has had a part in shaping this country's history for good or ill, and I really enjoy seeing the Old Hollywood used as a backdrop for a mystery series. Combine this setting with a strong main character and that gives me just the perfect reading when I need an escape.  

Silent Murders by Mary Miley
ISBN: 9781250051370
Minotaur Books © 2014
Hardcover, 320 pages
Historical Mystery, #2 Roaring Twenties mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased from Book Outlet.


  1. This sounds like a fun read, Cathy. That Hollywood era is so fascinating, and a great backdrop for a mystery. And Jessie sounds like a well-developed character I could enjoy getting to know. Glad you found a lot to like about this.

    1. You are so right, Margot. There's something about this era in Hollywood that is perfect for mysteries.

  2. Sounds like a good new series, Cathy. I'll have to see if I can find the first one.


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