Silent Murders

Written by Mary Miley
Review by Jane Kessler

Silent Murders is the second mystery featuring vaudeville performer Leah Randall. It’s 1925, and Leah, now calling herself Jessie Beckett, has moved to Hollywood and landed a job as an assistant script girl to director Frank Richardson on the Don Q: Son of Zorro set at Pickford-Fairbanks studio. Jessie comes to the attention of Douglas Fairbanks because of her petite size: he thinks she might be useful as a stand-in for his wife, Mary Pickford, and she eventually ends up filling in for his personal assistant. At a party one night with her friend, aspiring actress Myrna Loy, Jessie is recognized by the waitress, an old friend of her mother’s. She invites Jessie to stop by the next day so they can reminisce. But when Jessie shows up, she finds the woman murdered, and then learns that the host of the party she attended was also murdered. More murders follow, and Jessie ends up doing some investigating of her own, encouraged by Douglas Fairbanks. Miley’s writing captures the energy of the era, and there are lots of interesting details about the silent movie industry. The mystery was resolved, but not the relationships, so I’m hoping there is another installment in the works!