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Silent Murders: A Mystery (Roaring Twenties Mystery #2)

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  280 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Vaudeville actress Leah Randall took on her most daring role ever when she impersonated missing heiress Jessie Carr in order to claim Jessie's inheritance in The Impersonator. Now that the dust has settled around that tumultuous time in her life, Leah has adopted Jessie's name as her own and moved to Hollywood, where she's taken a modest but steady job in the silent film i ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Diane S ☔
Oct 11, 2014 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miley has created a wonderful character in Jessie and both books in this series so far are so much fun and a joy to read. The first book covered Jessie and her vaudeville days and I learned so much about the life of vaudeville performers. This one has Jessie in Hollywood training as a helper for Douglas Fairbanks, in the studio he and his wife, Mary Pickford own.

It fully immerses the reader in Jazz Age Hollywood, with its jealousies, competitions for parts and the age of silent film. The lush p
For being historical fiction, this was a fun read. The story was probably 3 stars, but I loved Tavia Gilbert's narration on the audio, so 4 stars. I loved the characters and I enjoyed the writing. The story wasn't as gripping as the first book in this series, but I loved all the name dropping of early movie stars. I liked that Douglas Fairbanks was one of the characters. When I had to sit through an old movie when I was younger, and he was in it, I never minded it.
Nov 16, 2014 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I liked 'The Impersonator' better but this one was still enjoyable. Jessie is such a likable character that I don't care how flimsy the mystery is. I liked all the old Hollywood glamour, especially the appearances of classic stars like Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, & Myrna Loy.
I really liked the first book a lot, but this one ... not so much. Jessie's a great character, vividly brought to life by Tavia Gilbert's narration. Beyond that, however, the story seemed mostly to be a vehicle to insert a fictitious character into the world of silent film stars, too much consciously so for me. I understand there are a couple more books in the series in the works, so here's hoping they branch out a bit more into new territory.

If you haven't read the first one, do so. This one st
David Monroe
3 stars. It's a little more 'cozy' than my regular mystery reads, but enjoyable. ...more
Christine Zibas
Following on from her debut, award-winning novel, "The Impersonator," Author Mary Miley has taken her main character, a Vaudville actress, to Hollywood in her second book. Here again, Jessie Beckett finds herself reinventing her life in "Silent Murders." She has managed to find a job at the studios of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, where she's filling in for Fairbanks' assistant.

She's soon invited by a Hollywood silent pictures tycoon to one of his studio parties, where along with Fairbank
Kate Ayers
Sep 25, 2014 Kate Ayers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid four-star book, maybe even better. It's so fun, and refreshing, to read about the silent film era. No cell phones, no Internet, big old cars, gaudy make-up, brazen women trying to break out of their age-old roles. Jessie Beckett has fled the Northwest after a con, landing in Hollywood and trying to turn legit as a script girl for Fairbanks Pickford Studio. Of course, nothing is easy for Jessie, as she becomes embroiled in a murder mystery early on, through no fault of her own. The local ...more
Jun 22, 2016 Rhonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rhonda by: Kate Ayers
This was a very good book and though it is a fiction, Mary Miley also put a few actual historic facts through out the entire book, which I enjoy greatly.
It's a fast read with a little over 300 pages.
Would make a great read on a plane flight across country.
Kathleen Mix
Sep 27, 2014 Kathleen Mix rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silent Murders is a mystery set in Hollywood in the days when Douglas Fairbanks was starring in silent films. The mystery kept me turning pages, and the characters were wonderfully real. Grab a copy and settle in for a great read.
Reggie Billingsworth
Silent Murders is a rattling good tale...a great read, full of diverting activity, and features a sassy heroine with impressive nerve and resourcefulness ... as well as not one but two potential romantic candidates which always adds to the frisson of any good story. Like others have acknowledged, Miley is a stylish page turner writer as well, and it was rather fun to be coaxed into almost believing this plot would not end...kept me up half the night as the last twists and turns wouldn't let me g ...more
Nov 17, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the not to be missed series (The Impersonator. 2012 won Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers First Crime Novel Award).
25 year old Leah Randall, now Jessie Beckett (after impersonating Jessie Carr, book one) is now in the silent film industry after a lifetime in Vaudeville (first with her mother) working in the Pickford/Fairbanks studio. She's reinventing herself while using past skills to investigate an increasing body count. She's quirky, plucky, intelligent, fun loving, p
Imagine living in the era of the legends of silent films, the air of excitement and glamor, excess and glitz. That is just where Mary Miley takes us in Silent Murders an historical mystery that uses the giants of the day, Douglas Fairbanks, Myrna Loy, Mary Pickford and more in supporting roles to Jessie, who has left her vaudeville days behind her, along with her days as a faux heiress. Working in the heart of the industry as an assistant script girl, the rush of the Hollywood hype, brushing elb ...more
Kathy Martin
Aug 08, 2014 Kathy Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jessie Beckett has left vaudeville, and a stint impersonating a lost heiress, behind and is building a new life and career in Hollywood. She is working as an assistant script girl on a Douglas Fairbanks movie. She and one her roommates, now named Myrna Loy, are invited to a party at the home of a famous director. There Jessie meets a woman who knew her mother and traveled the same vaudeville circuit Jessie and her mother traveled. The woman made an appointment for the next day to share memories ...more
Silent Murders is the second volume in the Roaring Twenties Mystery Series by Mary Miley. I enjoyed this latest offering but not quite as much as the Impersonator, the first book in the series. In this book,Jessie Beckett is on the case to determine who has been committing a rash or murders among the Hollywood set. She has been asked to pursue the matter on behalf of her employers Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, who fear that another scandal on the heels of the Fatty Arbuckle trial could ca ...more
Nov 20, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, historical
In the The Impersonator, Leah Randall aka Jessie Beckett, took on the biggest role of her life impersonating a dead cousin and working to solve the mystery of her disappearance. The novel was filled with bits of information about what it was like to be in Vaudeville and compared it to the lifestyle her cousin would have had as a young heiress.

Silent Murders by Mary Miley is book two in her Roaring Twenties mystery series. Leah has now officially taken on the name Jessie Beckett and is working in
Aug 02, 2014 Nann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jessie Beckett, aka Leah Randall, is back. After surviving her doppelganger adventure ("The Impersonator"), she is now working as a script girl for none other than Douglas Fairbanks, one of the foremost actors and directors in 1920's Hollywood. At a Hollywood party she has a chance encounter with a woman who had known her as a child. The woman invites her to visit and reminisce, but when Jessie arrives at the apartment she finds that the woman has been murdered. The same night the host of the pa ...more
I now get the pun on the title, specifically if it’s regarding silent films. Sure enough, as talkies/colour films are on the verge of being created. It’s a nice historical environment, the rise of Hollywood.

The case wasn't particularly as thrilling as I thought it'd be.
Kelly Hager
Like the first book in the series (The Impersonator), this book is full of little winks at classic Hollywood history. (Jessie's really good friends with the person who becomes Myrna Loy, who is friends with the guy who becomes Gary Cooper---fun fact: many people change their names in Hollywood!)

Also like in The Impersonator, Jessie is a fun, easy-to-root-for heroine. While I preferred the first one, this was very entertaining.

It centered around a slew of murders that are seemingly centered aroun
Jessie Beckett, a script girl in 1920s Hollywood, finds herself at the center of a rash of murders. A big-name director is killed, followed in short order by a former vaudeville actress she knows and two movie stars. In order to find out what happened to her friend - and do her boss a solid by keeping public opinion of the film industry up - she sets out to find the murderer...or murderers...with the help of her ex-mobster ex-boyfriend and the only honest cop in LA.

So, the story is pretty implau
A golden era of Hollywood cinema murder mystery - what could be more fun . . . well, as fun as murder can be!

Technically this is the second in a series, but honestly, this book completely stands alone in terms of its plot. The main character [and our intrepid sleuth] Jessie is the main holdover from the first book, but that one was about Jessie's background and her adventure to that point. This story starts after all that has been resolved and there's only the most minor reference to Jessie's pa
Feb 29, 2016 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jessie Beckett has left vaudeville and is now working as an assistant script girl on “Don Q: Son of Zorro.” She is flattered to be invited to a studio party by Bruno Heilmann. However, when the producer is found murdered the next morning, the Hollywood establishment fears that the scandal will imperil the industry. When Douglas Fairbanks discovers that Jessie has been discreetly investigating, he enlists her help in finding out what happened. Meanwhile, Jessie is reunited with a character from t ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jesse Carr has now turned into Jesse Beckett and moved to Hollywood as many vaudevillians did when moving pictures came along. A cast full of characters that you don't know. Who to trust other than Mary Pickford, Dougloas Fairbanks, and young Myrna Williams (who becomes Loy by the end). Turns out Jesse is quite the detective, using her acting skills and vaudeville tricks to helps her solve a series of murders with the required twists and turns. A little bit predicable at the end but still a good ...more
Eleanor Kuhns
Oct 12, 2014 Eleanor Kuhns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As with The Impersonator, Mary Miley's first book,Silent Murders is a delightful romp through the Roaring Twenties. In this second installment, Jessie has changed her name and moved to Hollywood, getting a job as a script girl with Douglas Fairbanks. At a fancy party with friend Myrna Loy (a naive shy girl), Jessie meets a woman who knew her mother. The next morning the woman has been murdered and several other murders follow.

The writing is wonderful and it is clear Miley did really thorough res
The former vaudevillian now known as Jessie Beckett is working as an apprentice script girl at the Douglas Fairbanks-Mary Pickford studio when she suddenly finds herself involved in two murders. She's fearful of the police, even though a patrolman, Carl Delaney, seems honest and friendly. Then a friend from her Oregon days shows up, bringing trouble in his wake. Her new friend, beautiful but naive Myrna Loy, also complicates matters. But Jessie has a knack for landing on her feet. I'm sorry I di ...more
Oct 02, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this Jazz Age murder mystery that had Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Myrna Loy and other stars of the silents playing featured roles. Heroine Jessie, veteran of vaudeville and newcomer to the back-scene production world of Hollywood, is an intrepid amateur detective. Ford flivvers, the Hollywoodland sign and crooked LA cops all figure in the story.

I liked the period details and didn't think the plot was overly convoluted (well, a bit), but I'm going to try to find Ms. Miley's first
Mike Shoop
The further adventures of Jessie from "The Impersonator," this time set in the Old Hollywood of the 1920s. Working for Douglas Fairbanks at Pickford-Fairbanks Studios, Jessie attends a glamorous party that ends in two murders and entangles Jessie in an investigation. As the body count increases, she realizes that she could also be targeted. Miley uses real people like Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and the young starlet Myrna Loy and accurate historical details to create an excellent sense of time an ...more
Jul 01, 2015 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Silent Murders was the second book by Mary Miley where she used the same assertive protagonist, Jessie. Last year, I read The Impersonator, and loved the murder mystery Jessie accidentally encountered while impersonating a young girl who disappeared. In this installment of the Roaring Twenties Mysteries, Jessie was a script assistant in 1920s Hollywood during the height of the motion picture explosion. Working for Douglas Fairbanks, Jessie was swept up in a caper of true Hollywood crime when sev ...more
Elspeth G. Perkin
A cozy murder mystery set in Old Hollywood

The stars of 1925 Tinseltown shine in Silent Murders (A Roaring Twenties Mystery, Book 2), a cozy mystery set in Old Hollywood. The reader is reacquainted with the intrepid anti-heroine Leah Randall who has traded in her borrowed pearls and furs of a lost heiress for a clipboard, the modest earnings of civilian life as a script girl for the booming silent film industry and a new name to accompany her new straight-arrow life. Taking the moniker of Jessie
Dec 24, 2014 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

This mystery has a great premise (A SERIAL KILLER IN 1920's HOLLYWOOD BUMPING OFF STARS!!!) but it's ruined by a boring resolution/motive and boring writing. The protagonist, "Jessie Carr" (it's an alias) returns from the much-better The Impersonator. Jessie has given up vaudeville and her con as missing heiress and moved to Hollywood, where's she's nabbed a job at United Artists Studios as assistant script-girl in training. Which of course leads to her becoming Dougl
Jun 25, 2016 Yael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oooh, this one was a fun amateur detective one! The way the author explained how the heroine would be good at spotting ideas was believable. And I know just enough about history to believe that powers that be might have scotched any proper investigations so that this amateur detective could work. There name-dropping was fun, but I'm a silent movies fan, so I was fangirling at that. Now I have the first in the series and am looking forward to book 3, to be published later this year!
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I'm an Army brat who has lived in Virginia most of my adult life. I received my BA and MA in history from the College of William and Mary and taught American history and museum studies at Virginia Commonwealth University for thirteen years. I am the author of almost 200 magazine articles, most on history, travel, and business topics, and of ten nonfiction books. For fun, I write mysteries set in t ...more
More about Mary Miley...

Other Books in the Series

Roaring Twenties Mystery (2 books)
  • The Impersonator (Roaring Twenties Mystery, #1)

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