Sunday, August 13, 2023

Twelve books on the dark side of the Jazz Age

Born in Chicago and a graduate of the University of Michigan, Nancy Bilyeau moved to New York City to work in the magazine business as a writer and editor. After working for publications ranging from Rolling Stone to Good Housekeeping, she turned to fiction. She wrote the Joanna Stafford trilogy, a trio of thrillers set in Henry VIII’s England, for Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. Her fourth novel is The Blue, an 18th-century thriller revolving around the art & porcelain world. Her latest novel, The Orchid Hour, returns to the early 20th century New York City of her novel Dreamland to once again tell a story of suspense revolving around a compelling heroine.

[My Book, The Movie: The Tapestry; Writers Read: Nancy Bilyeau (February 2012)]

At CrimeReads Bilyeau tagged twelve "books that look at the grit beneath the glamour of the 1920s," including:
Murder Off Stage by Mary Miley

In the 1920s the Palace Theatre was the Times Square nerve center for vaudeville and there were others catering to the most popular form of live entertainment in the United States. In this mystery, protagonist Jessie Beckett is a vaudeville performer turned movie script girl, which was a shrewd trajectory in 1926, when vaudeville had only a few years of popularity left and the film industry was on the verge of “talkies.” The mystery is packed with real people of this captivating world, which had its shadowy secrets far from the spotlights.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue