Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen: A Novel (Paperback)
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"Glamorous and suspenseful." —Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author
Perhaps the best place in 1943 Hollywood to see the stars is the Hollywood Canteen, a club for servicemen staffed exclusively by those in show business. Murder mystery playwright Annie Laurence, new in town after a devastating breakup, definitely hopes to rub elbows with the right stars. Maybe then she can get her movie made.
But Hollywood proves to be more than tinsel and glamour. When despised film critic Fiona Farris is found dead in the Canteen kitchen, Annie realizes any one of the Canteen's luminous volunteers could be guilty of the crime. To catch the killer, Annie falls in with Fiona's friends, a bitter and cynical group—each as uniquely unhappy in their life and career as Annie is in hers—that call themselves the Ambassador's Club.
Solving a murder in real life, it turns out, is a lot harder than writing one for the stage. And by involving herself in the secrets and lies of the Ambassador's Club, Annie just might have put a target on her own back.
"This vibrant, utterly delightful mystery expertly captures the drama, glamour and absurdity of wartime Hollywood. Sarah James's swift dialogue, dry wit and clever characters transport you into a 1940s movie, where the jokes are quick, the love affairs scandalous and the cast as charming as they are flawed." —Brianna Labuskes, author of The Librarian of Burned Books
Sarah James is a graduate of the MFA Writing for Screen & Television program at USC and the BA Playwriting program at Fordham Lincoln Center. She currently works as a freelance writer.
"A cast of unique and witty characters who all quickly become suspects…the humor and Hollywood absurdity keep the story suspenseful without it getting too dark. An atmospheric Hollywood whodunit for fans of Kate Alcott and Marie Benedict." — Library Journal
"Glamorous and suspenseful in equal measure, Sarah James has delivered a story that is both a delight and a puzzle readers will clamor to solve." — Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room and The Mitford Affair
"This vibrant, utterly delightful mystery expertly captures the drama, glamour and absurdity of wartime Hollywood. Sarah James’s swift dialogue, dry wit and clever characters transport you into a 1940s movie, where the jokes are quick, the love affairs scandalous and the cast as charming as they are flawed. Underneath it all, James’s deep knowledge of the era’s movies and music lends an authenticity that makes the rest shine even brighter. I laughed, I gasped and I never wanted it to end. This should head straight to the top of every must-read list." — Brianna Labuskes, author of The Librarian of Burned Books
"The Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen delivers the humor, wit, and dazzle of WWII-era Hollywoodland while asking darker questions about the seductive price of fame and trade-offs artists make to earn a living." — Lori Rader-Day, award-winning author of Death at Greenway