Review: Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
Written in a film noir style William J. Mann delivers a fascinating tale of murder, sex, and young Hollywood. Three film actress, one director, and more than four conspiracies about the why of his death. Mann’s research into this almost 100 year old murder is solid but the best part of the book is the writing style. Mann uses words to give the correct ambiance to the story. They are not movies but pictures, it is not a clue but a clew, and dozens of other little touches to give this book the feel of the twenties. Mann builds the story from the past of all the people involved then the night of the murder then moving into the slow future. He gives the reader perspective on both the murdered and those around him. This is an intellectual true crime noir that will move you.
Review: Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
In Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in the province of Auvergne France has a secret. It is a quiet place with people who value silence in good deeds and for life in general. The secret is that during the Second World War the people there hid at lead 883 Jews and other people wanted by the Nazis and the Vichy government. Caroline Moorehead is a World War II researcher and author with many other books under her belt before she began researching this quiet story. She gets interviews with people who live in the area and lived through the war. She has access to archives, letters, newspaper articles, and diaries for her resources. The story is very moving and uplifting. The people in Chambon-sur-Lignon did what they believed to be morally right and refused to compromise. They are a bright light in war darkened France.