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At an aging starlet’s birthday, a Hollywood murder mystery debuts

Actress Tasheba Kent was famous before movies could talk, and stayed that way well after the silent era died. When her sister took a mysterious plunge off a cliff, the silver-screen beauty turned tragedy into scandal by running off with her bereaved brother-in-law. To escape the outraged press, they retreated to a rocky island off the cost of Maine. Decades later, Tash remains a symbol of Golden Age beauty, but she is about to become a murder victim.
 
To celebrate her hundredth birthday, Tash invites the press, some fans, and ex-FBI agent Gregor Demarkian to her island for a memorabilia auction. When their host dies from a brutal blow to the head, the group flies into a panic. Though cut off from the mainland, Demarkian will catch Tash’s killer with enough panache to make any screen siren proud.
Published: MysteriousPress.com Open Road an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on Mar 5, 2013
ISBN: 9781453293041
List price: $9.99
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I have to say I'm getting a little frustrated with this series. On one hand, it doesn't try to be one of those "all characters frozen in time" things like the Nero Wolfe books. On the other hand, nothing ever seems to move forward. For example, we're 13 books in and Gregor and Bennis are still where they were at the end of the first book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
#13 in the Gregor Demarkian series.Fifty years ago, silent movie superstar Tasheba Kent and her lover, Cavender Marsh, also a movie star, left France under suspicious circumstances--the death of Lillian Brayne, Tasheba Kent's sister--and Marsh's wife. the French police rule the death an accident; Kent and Marsh go into seclusion on an island off the coast of Maine, shunning everyone except a few employees.Now the couple (who never marrried, however) need money, and they decide to hold an auction of some of their memorabilia, the auction to be held through the services of Halbard's Auction House. But the auction is not open to just anyone. Kent decides to use the occasion to celebrate her upcoming 100th birthday, and the guest list is selective. Among the invited are Bennis Hannaford, a distant relative, and, as her escort, Gregor Demarkian. Also to be present are Marsh's long-estranged daughter, Hannah Graham; Richard Fenster, a wealthy Wall Street speculator who is also a rabid collector of Tasheba Kent memorabilia; Mathilda Frazier, as the harried representative of Halbard's, there to make sure all goes smoothly--or as smoothly as possible; Carlton Ji, a magazine reporter with an obsessive interest in the Brayne death; Lydia Acken, who handles the legal affairs of Kent and Marsh; Kelly Pratt, their accountant; and Geraldine Dart, secretary and general factotem for the couple.But after a celebratory dinner in which kent makes a dramatic entrance, the scenario shifts to one of murder, as within hours, Tasheba winds up dead from a blow to the head.All are isolated on the island as the weather turns too nasty to use a boat. Also, the solitary phone is out of order. with no way to reach the mainland and report the death, the company makes do. soon, however, it becomes obvious that one of their number is missing; sure enough, there's another murder victim.With a violent nor'easter as background, the story takes on the character almost of one of the old silent movies themselves--all that is missing is the player piano music in the background. There are plenty of macabre details, including a bat attack. It's a fun story for aficionados of the old silent movies and those who have heard about them. The climax, which corresponds with that of the storm, is very well done.Even without Cavanaugh St., a good read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Movie star Tasheba Kent disappeared from Hollywood with her lover Cavender Marsh in 1938 when Marsh's wife and Tasheba's sister Lilith died in what was ruled an accident. Kent and Marsh went to live on an island off the coast of Maine. Now Tasheba's 100th birthday is coming up, and she and Cavender are having an auction, and have invited people involved to the island. Bennis Hannaford is a relative of Cavender's and she is invited and takes Gregor Demarkian along. While on the island a storm makes leaving and communications impossible, and, of course, a murder happens.It infuriates me, as a would be writer, that Haddam can take a cliched plot like murder on an island in a storm and make it work. She does.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

I have to say I'm getting a little frustrated with this series. On one hand, it doesn't try to be one of those "all characters frozen in time" things like the Nero Wolfe books. On the other hand, nothing ever seems to move forward. For example, we're 13 books in and Gregor and Bennis are still where they were at the end of the first book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
#13 in the Gregor Demarkian series.Fifty years ago, silent movie superstar Tasheba Kent and her lover, Cavender Marsh, also a movie star, left France under suspicious circumstances--the death of Lillian Brayne, Tasheba Kent's sister--and Marsh's wife. the French police rule the death an accident; Kent and Marsh go into seclusion on an island off the coast of Maine, shunning everyone except a few employees.Now the couple (who never marrried, however) need money, and they decide to hold an auction of some of their memorabilia, the auction to be held through the services of Halbard's Auction House. But the auction is not open to just anyone. Kent decides to use the occasion to celebrate her upcoming 100th birthday, and the guest list is selective. Among the invited are Bennis Hannaford, a distant relative, and, as her escort, Gregor Demarkian. Also to be present are Marsh's long-estranged daughter, Hannah Graham; Richard Fenster, a wealthy Wall Street speculator who is also a rabid collector of Tasheba Kent memorabilia; Mathilda Frazier, as the harried representative of Halbard's, there to make sure all goes smoothly--or as smoothly as possible; Carlton Ji, a magazine reporter with an obsessive interest in the Brayne death; Lydia Acken, who handles the legal affairs of Kent and Marsh; Kelly Pratt, their accountant; and Geraldine Dart, secretary and general factotem for the couple.But after a celebratory dinner in which kent makes a dramatic entrance, the scenario shifts to one of murder, as within hours, Tasheba winds up dead from a blow to the head.All are isolated on the island as the weather turns too nasty to use a boat. Also, the solitary phone is out of order. with no way to reach the mainland and report the death, the company makes do. soon, however, it becomes obvious that one of their number is missing; sure enough, there's another murder victim.With a violent nor'easter as background, the story takes on the character almost of one of the old silent movies themselves--all that is missing is the player piano music in the background. There are plenty of macabre details, including a bat attack. It's a fun story for aficionados of the old silent movies and those who have heard about them. The climax, which corresponds with that of the storm, is very well done.Even without Cavanaugh St., a good read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Movie star Tasheba Kent disappeared from Hollywood with her lover Cavender Marsh in 1938 when Marsh's wife and Tasheba's sister Lilith died in what was ruled an accident. Kent and Marsh went to live on an island off the coast of Maine. Now Tasheba's 100th birthday is coming up, and she and Cavender are having an auction, and have invited people involved to the island. Bennis Hannaford is a relative of Cavender's and she is invited and takes Gregor Demarkian along. While on the island a storm makes leaving and communications impossible, and, of course, a murder happens.It infuriates me, as a would be writer, that Haddam can take a cliched plot like murder on an island in a storm and make it work. She does.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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