Copyright © Ruby's Musings
Design by Dzignine

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Mystery In History

Book review time! 
I had retired for the evening, my cat Bitty peacefully slumbering at the end of my bed. I could hear the soft rumbling of my husbands snoring where he had fallen asleep on the couch, most likely with the computer on his lap, his snore seemed to be in harmony with that of the cats. All was quiet past that, as the  predicted rain had yet to begin and the noises from the roadways near our apartment did not seem to travel to my ears as normally they do. It was the perfect time to start reading my latest book and transport myself into another place and time. 

I had ordered the book SILENTS! by H.P. Oliver after learning of it when he followed my account on twitter, and I his. Promoted as  a "Mystery In History" then seeing it was set in the late 1920's, I knew I simply must read it. On the cover were two large brown eyes and crimson lips that jumped out at me, beckoning me to join in the hunt for a murderer. The description of what was to come, the set up of the plot, was that an actress, Lillian Lawrence was found dead in her room at the Hollywood Hotel in 1926. Miss Lawrence was shot just as she was on the verge of retiring from making films. It was a mystery that promised to have many twists and turns, and even perhaps a few surprises. A mystery that would  unfold as time and in this case the story, as told by Mr. Oliver, continued on.

The story began on what seemed like a quiet, and quite normal Sunday morning within the hotel, when a scream was heard breaking the silence and awakening the slumbering guests. Within minutes from opening the cover and turning to chapter one I was enthralled and indeed transported through time. Mr. Oliver told me I should have checked out his web page, when I had written him a tweet the next morning, apparently there was a video that set the whole story up and a page of visuals as well. I told him that even before I knew of this fact I had created in my minds eye the environment for which the story took place, what I found on his web page was like a cherry on top of the best sundae ever! 

I shall not go into any further details of the story, for to do so would of course ruin your own journey into the world of SILENTS! You could always cheat a little, scroll down and see the visuals and while on H.P. Oliver's page to order the book,(and perhaps download a few of his E books,as he has others to enjoy),go to the real harm done there. However even though I will not tell you more of what is inside the pages, I am prepared to not only give you the synopsis as it appears on the web site as well the back of the book and as a bonus I have a bit of a Q&A that I have from the author himself!! 

"Lillian Lawrence, the silent-era's newest starlet is found shot to death in her room at the Hollywood Hotel only days after she announces plans to leave motion pictures for the less glamorous roles of wife and mother. Lillian's many friends at the studio and her legion of fans across America are all asking the same question: Who could have done such a dastardly deed?

That is exactly what Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives Robert Winfield and C. K. Mackie are determined to find out as we follow them down the boulevards and through the back alleys of Hollywood in search of the one person who would profit from Lillian Lawrence's death.

What the detectives learn as SILENTS! reveals its twists and turns will leave you as baffled as they are. But persistence pays off and the detectives catch a break in the case that brings Lillian Lawrence's killer to justice . . . or does it? In typical H. P. Oliver fashion, the final solution to the mystery will come as a surprise that will leave you speechless!"

H.P. Oliver. Learn more HERE
Q&A with the Author.....

How did you become interested in the era's in which you write about?

I've always been interested in history, but I think my fascination with the between-the-wars years came about as a result of music.  My mom was a music teacher, and when I'd come home from school, she'd be amusing herself at the piano, playing the music she grew up with­ the songs of the '30s and '40s.  I heard them all over and over!  Later, when I played with bands in high school and college, we played a lot the same songs, especially ballads, because they were great for dancing.  Sure, I was into rock & roll, just like the other kids, but to this day, I'm more likely to be humming or whistling a tune from the swing era than anything else.

So, we have chatted on Twitter a few times about a mutual love of classic films, how did you get hooked?

My love for classic films grew out of my interest in history.  At some point I discovered that contemporary films of the '20s, '30s and '40s are great windows into the past­-a wonderful opportunity to see the country, especially southern California, as it was when the movie was made.  Films are also a good way to see the cars, fashions, and just about every other aspect of our culture in the good old days.  From there, it was only a short step to fascination with the films, themselves, and how they were made.  It all just flowed from one interest to the next.

So tell me just a snippet of your background in writing.
My major in college was journalism with an emphasis on broadcast news.  I guess I fancied myself as the next Walter Cronkite.  But as time passed, I discovered other kinds of writing that were a lot more fun and longer lasting.  I stuck with those and I've earned my keep as a writer of one sort or another­-mostly media-­ever since I graduated from college.
What drives you to write? 

I know there are a lot of writers out there who say they write for themselves and they don't care what anyone else thinks of their work.  I look at writing differently.  To me, the joy in writing a good yarn is in what readers get out of it.  If someone comes up to me and says they read one of my books and really enjoyed it . . . well, that makes my day.

Well H.P. I did enjoy your book and hope one day to read the E books as well! What is your next project? 

My next novel is set in the big band era.  For protagonists we have a gal singer who's getting her first big break in a little Long Beach, California nightclub, and a big band trumpet player we first meet at the famous Paramount Theater in New York.  For a villain we've got one of the most ruthless and charming killers of the day, Bugsy Siegal.  The tale really starts out as two stories that become one through a strange twist of fate and acoustics.  It's a thriller I hope will keep readers on the edges of their seats right up through the deadly climax on Catalina Island.  The name of the novel is And The Angels Sing, and we'll be releasing it as an e-book just before summer.

Sounds fantastic....I just know your current fans and the fans to come will be over the moon with it. Thanks so much for chatting with me and sharing with my readers! 

The visuals to set up the story of SILENTS!, and I know once you see them, if you are a lover of the era and of a great mystery, you will order your copy of the book after leaving here. 

Lillian Lawrence, the victim.
As depicted by silent film actress Claire Windsor.   
The Homicide Detectives...

C.K. depicted by silent film actor Noah Beery.

Robert Winfield..
as depicted by silent film actor Robert Harron .

Two of the suspects...

L.A. Bromfeld...Movie Executive.
 As depicted by silent film actor Robert Cooksey.

Mae White, actress.
As depicted by silent film actress Dorothy Janis. 
Connect with the author...

 H P O PRODUCTIONS -- Practitioners in the magic of imagination!
                          Visit H. P. Oliver's Author Fan Site at  Follow H.P. Oliver for Tinsel Town Trivia & Swing Slang Revival at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Simply adore all your comments! Thank you so kindly for leaving one! They mean the world to me...more than you know! I love hearing from my readers. XOXO Comments will not appear until I approve them, due to spam bots.