My latest Catherine Tregowyn Mystery, The Hollywood Murders, has been released!
“…readers will fall in love with the charming cast of characters, each of whom seems above suspicion. By blending romance and thrills with a spunky, brilliant protagonist, the author serves up a golden age-style treat for any book-loving armchair sleuth”.–Publisher’s Weekly
When Oxford academics Catherine Tregowyn and her beau, Dr. Harry Bascombe, travel “across the pond” to teach a summer course at UCLA, the last thing they expect to encounter is a murder. However,
the daughter of one of their fellow passengers on the Queen Mary is arrested the day they arrive in Los Angeles. Miss Daphne Binoche, a famous actress, stands accused of murdering her director, Michael Fields. Miss Binoche’s father pleads with Harry and Catherine to lend their expertise to the problem, as he and his daughter are European Jews
and do not trust the police.
Their investigation takes Harry and Catherine to the Starlight jazz club where the Hollywood elite gather to dance and gossip. While questioning the rich and famous, they find that many denizens of Hollywood have a horror of European Fascism resulting in a thriving anti-Nazi presence.
Another murder takes place and the community of actors teems with suspects. Are the two murders related? Catherine and Harry move within this artificial society trying to penetrate the enigmatic personalities of people who routinely change identities for a living. Who is lying? Who is misleading them? And from whom are they in danger?
Nothing around them—neither place nor person—seems reliable as they pursue a killer through the make-believe world that is Hollywood in the 1930s.
. . . characters are colorful
, their world engaging, and Dr. Harry is especially charming. Details of food and fashion give a lush touch to the well-painted period settings–Oxford is evoked especially well–and the portrayal of factions, competition, and power plays within the scholarly world lend amusement and intrigue. Ongoing references to poetic theory, the Bloomsbury group, and the dark shadow of Hitler add to the textured sense of place. Those who aren’t
yet fans of Vandagriff will be hooked.” –Historical Novel Review