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Murder in Hollywood: Solving A Silent Screen Mystery?,
This review is from: Murder in Hollywood: Solving a Silent Screen Mystery (Hardcover)
I ran into trouble with this book about three quarters of the way down on page 13 (the prologue). Mr. Higham writes about a New Years Day party he attended in 1971, in which he attempts to discuss the William Desmond Taylor murder case with several "legendary figures" of film. He notes that his host films a "priceless historical record" of the party and its guests which include the great director Josef Von Sternberg. Being a fan of Mr. Von Sternberg and knowing that he, in fact, passed away in December of 1969, told me all I needed to know about the research and the information presented in this book. If the author is so mistaken about such an important film maker as Mr. Von Sternberg and that date, then he loses credibility with me about the rest of his timeline and theory.
I would recommend anyone interested in the murder of William Desmond Taylor to read "A Cast of Killers" by Sidney Kirkpatrick (1986). The book is written in the form of a novel and is not a true crime book per se. But the facts and conclusions ring truer than anything "Murder in Hollywood" has to say. Plus the same material is presented with a sense of style and energy that is entirely absent in this short (209 pages)lusterless book.