Welcome to my online home! Here’s where I open the door and invite you inside to meet my literary family: my 15 nonfiction books, 200 magazine articles (some available here), and the 9 historical mysteries written by my fictional self, Mary Miley. Severn House is publishing my new mystery series set in Chicago during my favorite decade, the Roaring Twenties: The Mystic’s Accomplice hit US shelves in 2021, Spirits and Smoke was released in early 2022, and the third, Deadly Spirits, later that same year. The fifth, and final, book in the Roaring Twenties series came out in September 2023. It has a murder method (weapon?) that I believe is unique–at least, I have never seen it in all my decades of reading murder mysteries. (Tell me if I’m wrong.) On a personal level, I’m busy at Valley Road Vineyards, working on the bottling assembly line. I’m enjoying traveling again in 2023!
News & Events
Another lovely review of my latest; this one in Library Review. No wonder my books are always found in public libraries!
Miley, Mary. Murder Off Stage. Severn House. (Roaring Twenties Mystery, Bk. 5). Sept. 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781448311408. $31.99. M
Jessie Beckett is a former Vaudeville performer, now an assistant script girl for Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. When the couple goes to New York for several weeks, Jessie accompanies them. It gives her time to catch up with an old friend, Adele Astaire. She knew Adele and her brother, Freddy, as children on the Vaudeville circuit. Now Adele’s fame opens doors—and nets Jessie second-row tickets to a hot Broadway play, Rules of Engagement. From those seats, Jessie witnesses the play’s leading man, Allen Crenshaw, being shot dead by leading lady Norah Rose, using a stage gun that was loaded with (unbeknownst to Norah, Jessie is certain) real bullets. When detective Benjamin Quinn admits that this is his first murder investigation, Jessie uses his adoration of Adele to inveigle her way into the case. With Adele’s help and her own knowledge of the theater world, Jessie is able to uncover the history of a murder with roots in the past. VERDICT The fifth “Roaring Twenties Mystery,” following Murder in Disguise, is an enjoyable treat with appearances by Pickford, Fairbanks, and Queen Marie of Romania, as well as the Astaires. For fans of earlier books in the series or of Katharine Schellman’s “Nightingale” mysteries, also set in 1920s NYC.—Lesa Holstine
Articles & Podcasts
Colonial Williamsburg recently re-posted on its website the back issues of its national magazine, The Journal, and its more recent iteration, Trends & Traditions. Articles from twenty years ago are available to the general public once again, with accompanying illustrations and other features. Dozens of my own articles are among them. https://research.colonialwilliamsburg.org/foundation/journal/feature2.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0e558V2CB7ZjmebhbiO0Nib-dW8zCaCHCM_WcUClReYve-BYyC3qhPvT8