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The Sirens of Suspense


THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS, the first in Sharon Linnéa’s Movie Mystery series, isn’t your typical Hollywood murder mystery novel—in fact, the majority of the story takes place in England—so if you’re picking it up expecting to get a taste of Tinsel Town, think again.

It’s been twenty years since the movie Tristan and Isolde became the defining film of the “Me” decade and the studio is planning to commemorate the anniversary by re-releasing the film and planning a gala premiere. Anastasia, the young ingenue who was launched into super-stardom as Isolde, has stayed out of the spotlight since marrying (and being widowed by) the Duke of Esmonde, but between her agent and the media, she’s having a hard time staying hidden. When she sees the news that one of the crew has been murdered, she begins to notice that the number of people involved with the film who have met violent or early ends seems to be higher than probability would allow. The story unfolds between the present day, where Anastasia investigates the deaths aided by fellow Tristan and Isolde actor (now screenwriter) Bruce and his wife, and twenty years ago, when she, the poor child of an alcoholic mother, stumbles into the movie role of a lifetime, and learns about first love.

Although the mystery is compelling, I recommend this book more for the way the author details the history of the characters. The honest and realistic way Linnéa recounts Anastasia’s rags to riches story, and takes us behind the scenes of romances like those we read about daily in the tabloids makes this book stand out. I’m greatly looking forward to the next book in the Movie Mystery series.

If you like THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS, you may enjoy:

Erin Kelly, THE POISON TREE (a coming of age mystery)
Joseph Kanon, STARDUST (a Hollywood mystery)
Elizabeth Peters, NAKED ONCE MORE (a mystery investigating deaths surrounding a famous novel)



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This review originally posted on The Poisoned Pen blog, read it and comment here:

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