Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

Paperback | October 6, 2015

byWilliam J. Mann

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New York Times Bestseller

Edgar Award winner for Best Fact Crime

The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry.

By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s new favorite pastime, and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now.

In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly-minted legends and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate.

A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century.

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From the Publisher

New York Times BestsellerEdgar Award winner for Best Fact CrimeThe Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry.By 1920, the movies had sud...

From the Jacket

In the early 1920s, Hollywood was threatened by a string of scandals—including the murder of the handsome, secretly haunted actor and director William Desmond Taylor, a crime that went unsolved for nearly a century. Now, in this fiendishly involving New York Times bestseller—hailed as "a must-read" by Liz Smith—William Mann draws on a ...

William J. Mann is the author ofKate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn;How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood;Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand; andWisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines, which won the 1999 Lambda Literary Award. He divides his time between Connecticut and Cape Cod.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.84 inPublished:October 6, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062242199

ISBN - 13:9780062242198

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“Mann spins this yarn with all the suspense and intrigue of a Dashiell Hammett novel. From beginning to end, the engrossing true tale will keep you guessing.”