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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (June 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812972236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812972238
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Holmes is an award-winning Broadway playwright and composer (The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Accomplice), so it's only appropriate that his hugely entertaining first novel should be set in the world of show business. It purports to be the account of one K. O'Connor (we never learn her first name), a smart, pretty and accomplished young journalist who has been commissioned to write a book about a celebrated comedy team of the '60s, Vince Collins-who sang smoothly and was a ladies' man, and Lanny Morris, who clowned around (Martin and Lewis, anyone?). At the height of their career, a dead girl was found in their hotel room, and although neither of them was accused (they had airtight alibis), the incident put an end to their act, and as the book begins, they haven't seen each other for years. O'Connor sniffs around Collins, reads some chapters Morris has set down for a book of his own and begins to wonder just where the truth does lie. Holmes has a wonderful feeling for period detail, and the '60s and '70s spring vividly back to horrific life through the brilliant narration of the romantically susceptible O'Connor. For much of its course the novel is witty, sexy and suspenseful, but eventually it morphs into a more conventional whodunit, with one of those windups in which a complicated plot is sorted out in improbable dialogue between accuser and perpetrator, and the giddy pleasures of the first two-thirds are somewhat overshadowed. That's not enough, however, to spoil what is for most of the way a glittering ride.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Although this is Holmes' first mystery novel, he has already wowed Broadway audiences with two crime stories: his musical adaptation of Dickens' Mystery of Edwin Drood (for which he won four Tony awards) and his Edgar-winning thriller, The Accomplice. This foray into narrative fiction is literate, witty, and atmospheric. Holmes re-creates the extravagant side of the 1970s--jumbo jets equipped with upper-level piano bars; Hollywood before the glamour died. Connecting all this glitz is the attempt of Holmes' heroine, a young female journalist, to write a book investigating the split of a comedy team obviously modeled on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The reporter soon learns that a girl found murdered in a bathtub in a New Jersey casino years ago is somehow at the core of the duo's breakup. Further digging puts her in contact with some very funny, very scary gangsters and leads to her discovery that one of the comedy team may be a murderer--and may be coming after her. The plotline will command reader's interest, but what will probably knock them out is the dead-on way Holmes captures the comedy team's speech cadences and sybaritic habits, making what is known of Martin and Lewis' wild celebrity ride a compelling backdrop for villainy. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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All his characters are so fully and realistically developed.
Diane Terrell
Rupert Holmes is an impressive writer and apparently one of those supremely talented Renaissance types who can do everything well -- write, compose, sing, etc.
Carol S.
I found the novel grew stronger and I cared more for the characters towards the end.
Trumpet21

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Miranda Prince VINE VOICE on July 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Rupert Holmes is a storyteller at heart. He's told stories through popular songs (love it or hate it, but "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" is a 3-minute story), television (the lovely "Remember WENN"), stage (the funny and suspenseful "Accomplice," as well as "The Mystery of Edwin Drood") and now tackles the novel.
"Where the Truth Lies" is a satisfying page-turner with terrific period detail and well-drawn characters. The main character, a young woman named O'Connor (she never shares her first name), is smart and competent, and if she's a little devious sometimes, it's well justified by the behavior of everyone around her.
It's hard to say much about the plot without giving away too much. Rupert Holmes is a master of sneaky plot twists, and it would be criminal to leak them to someone who hasn't read the book. ("Accomplice," his Edgar award-winning play, was similarly twisty.)
But in a nutshell, O'Connor is investigating Lanny Morris and Vince Collins, a former comedy duo (think Martin and Lewis) with a shared skeleton in the closet: twenty years earlier, a young woman was found dead in their hotel suite. The crime was never solved, and now O'Connor is writing a book about Collins with the promise that the truth will finally be exposed.
All of this takes place against the backdrop of the entertainment world in the 1970s, a rich environment that Holmes, as a young singer-songwriter, probably experienced for himself in much the same way as his heroine. O'Connor is the outsider, the guest, taken to wondrous places she could never go on her own.
Holmes' writing is funny and well-paced, and completely entertaining. He describes his settings so well, it feels as if we're there (especially the scenes that take place in Disneyland ... and could I be more jealous of O'Connor in those scenes?)
Songs, plays, TV shows, novels ... regardless of the form, I hope we'll see many more stories from Rupert Holmes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Carol S. VINE VOICE on July 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Okay, the guy who wrote this excellent debut novel also happens to be the same guy who did the deliciously cheesy "Pina Colada Song." Get over it. Rupert Holmes is an impressive writer and apparently one of those supremely talented Renaissance types who can do everything well -- write, compose, sing, etc. The book is clever, suspenseful, laugh out loud funny, and the kind of book that sucks you in from the beginning and makes you want to neglect everything else in your life until you finish every page. What more could you want in a mystery novel?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was NOT surprised that I enjoyed this book. After all, the author was the creator and head writer for the superb--and lately lamented--REMEMBER WENN television show on AMC. Mr. Holmes succeeds in mastering yet another field with this novel. (He's won a Grammy, several Tonys and an Edgar for his stageplay, ACCOMPLICE.) With dead-on observations and insights concerning the 70s, he has penned a thoroughly entrancing yet intriguing mystery, populated with an extraordinary cast of characters who jump off the pages and into your imagination and heart.
No one quite knows why a famous comedy team broke up at the height of their success and went their separate ways. A young journalist who is determined to write the definitive book about the team, discovers that both men are attractive as well as attentive. But which one--the singer with the killer voice or the comedian with the killer smile--is a real killer?
It's not often that a book (especially a first book) excels on all levels: wry observational narrative, delicious period and location details, clever, sparkling dialogue, unique insight into the dynamics and dissolution of a strong partnership, and of course, a truly inspired plot. I found it to be the best--the most entertaining and most memorable book I've read in a very long time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Susan A. Little on July 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having long been a fan of Rupert Holmes' music (yes, I liked "Escape," but much preferred the musicality of "Second Saxophone" and "Times Square & The Old School") as well as his much-celebrated television show, "Remember Wenn" and his award-winning musicals, I waited, with great anticipation, for the late June 2003 release of his first novel, WHERE THE TRUTH LIES. I sincerely hoped that someone who was so incredibly diversified could enter and triumph in yet another literary genre. To say that I was not disappointed would be putting it mildly. Holmes' novel has such rich, round characters - characters who quickly become real people in the lives of interested readers.
I have to admit that, as an English teacher for thirty-four years, I often have to limit what I read for pleasure. As a result, I developed a system of passing up a book if I wasn't intrigued by the first sentence. In WHERE THE TRUTH LIES, my imagination was instantly captured by the introductory, "In the seventies, I had three unrelated lunches with three different men, each of whom might have done A Terrible Thing." Who could read that and not want to go further to learn about O'Connor, the young, female journalist who quickly becomes experienced, the comedy team of Vince and Lanny, whose humor soon becomes dark and ominous, and their connections with a lightly-veiled Mafia? And just what was this "terrible thing?"
I had to know!
The fascinating things about this novel, however, are the complicated twists the plot takes. One can read the first half and be convinced that one knows the outcome, only to go a little further and realize that nothing could be further from the truth. Only in the last thirty pages does the reader learn, "Where The Truth Lies."
Holmes is, indeed, a master story-teller.
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