MURDER AT SAN SIMEON: A Novel of Suspense (Lisa Drew Books)

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9780684804231: MURDER AT SAN SIMEON: A Novel of Suspense (Lisa Drew Books)
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Her mother's deathbed words lead Catha Kinsolving Burke to San Simeon, the legendary Hearst castle, and to the mysterious seventy-year-old death of Hollywood producer Thomas Ince

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From Publishers Weekly:

The death, under mysterious circumstances, of a prominent Hollywood producer at William Randolph Hearst's legendary California estate, San Simeon, in the 1920s was never solved and quickly disappeared from public view. But not apparently from the mind of the newspaper mogul's granddaughter, who, with coauthor Biddle (Beneath the Wind), pens this tale based on that murder. Described with brio is the relationship between Hearst and his silent screen-star mistress, Marion Davies, whom the publisher kept a virtual prisoner at the castle where she took revenge by throwing wild parties and having assorted, barely concealed affairs. At their best when cataloguing the beauties and excesses of San Simeon, the authors are less successful with fictional character, Catha Kinsolving Burke. The story opens at the funeral of Catha's estranged mother. Catha is astonished to learn that her mother wished to have her ashes sprinkled at San Simeon. After honoring the request, Catha tours the estate and overhears a conversation that implicates her grandmother, personal assistant to Marion Davies, in a murder. The rest of the story alternates between Catha's search for information about her grandmother's real role in the murder and a recreation of life at San Simeon in the '20s. Catha's present-day angst just can't compete against the passions and other extravagances of Hearst's heyday: her mystery merely provides pallid packaging for the still lurid and juicy true-life one.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Legendary Hollywood producer Thomas Ince's 1924 death aboard news magnate William Randolph Hearst's yacht Oneida has long been listed officially as accidental--a heart attack brought on by acute indigestion--but dark rumors have circulated for just as long. Now along comes Hearst's granddaughter, partnered by historical yachting fantasist Biddle (Beneath the Wind, 1993), to clear the air. Or rather to muddy it more than ever, since Prof. Catha Kinsolving Burke, visiting Hearst's palatial San Simeon to scatter her late mother's ashes, gets wind of a rumor that her grandmother shot Ince--and sets out to clear her of charges no historian's ever made, since Abigail Kinsolving, secretary to Hearst inamorata Marion Davies, is as fictional as Catha herself. And she's a whole lot more fictional than the other suspects- -Hearst, Davies, Charlie Chaplin, Lita Grey, Pola Negri, John Barrymore, Louella Parsons, and Elinor Glyn--aboard the Oneida. Though the cast is glittering, the plotting isn't; Catha has to spend well over half the novel figuring out why anybody would've suspected Abigail of murder before she can team up with an eligible L.A. lawyer to vindicate her. Still, there's a certain charm in watching Patricia Hearst's demure fictional counterpart working like a beaver to get the lowdown on a crime 70 years away from her own sweet self. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781476717692: MURDER AT SAN SIMEON (Lisa Drew Books (Scribner))

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ISBN 10:  1476717699 ISBN 13:  9781476717692
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9780671534028: Murder at San Simeon

Pocket, 1997
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