The Art of Murder: Creativity Can Be Lethal

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 by Jinah

Dive into these fifteen tales of murder, mystery, and mayhem that explore art’s sinister side. Go here to view the entire infographic!

THEATER

The Art of Murder: Theater

Mysteries abound on and off the stage in these thrilling novels involving chorus girls, starlets, and a theater director turned sleuth.

Murder on Cue by Jane Dentinger

Murder takes center stage when the lead actress in a Broadway show is found dead and her understudy, Jocelyn “Josh” O’Roarke, is named the prime suspect. Josh must find the murderer in order to clear her name and ensure that the show will go on. 

Bernhardt’s Edge by Collin Wilcox

When director turned detective Alan Bernhardt is hired to track down a corporate secretary who has run off with valuable documents, he discovers that she is actually running for her life.

The Big Kiss-Off of 1944 by Andrew Bergman

A chorus girl headed for bigger things hires a detective to track down a blackmailer demanding a fee to keep her old stag films out of the public eye.

Strange Embrace by Lawrence Block

When a leading lady turns up dead right before a play’s debut, a Broadway producer goes searching for justice.

MUSIC

Art of Murder: Music

These mysteries will have you singing bloody murder long after the case is closed.

Solo by Jack Higgins

John Mikali is exceptionally skilled at two things: playing the piano and the art of assassination. His talent for murder leads him into a cat-and-mouse game with the vengeful father of a woman he killed.

Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg

Private eye Harry Angel’s mission looks simple: locate the comatose body of big-band frontman Johnny Favorite in a private hospital in upstate New York. But things get complicated when Angel learns that Johnny has disappeared, and each person that he questions dies soon after.

FILM

The Art of Murder: Film

Danger is far from make-believe for sleuths and thespians in these chilling tales.

Murder on the Yellow Brick Road by Stuart M. Kaminsky

While studio executives plan a sequel to The Wizard of Oz, a psychopathic killer plots his next murder on the backlot. Hollywood detective Toby Peters must track down the killer before he gets to Judy Garland.

Shooting Hollywood by Melodie Johnson Howe

Former Hollywood ingenue Diana Poole is widowed, broke, and determined to make a comeback. When people start dying wherever she goes, Diana learns that coming back to Hollywood is far more dangerous than she could ever have imagined.

I Should Have Stayed Home by Horace McCoy

Ralph and Mona quickly learn that the ascent to Hollywood stardom is a nightmarish struggle with very little reward.

Crowned Heads by Thomas Tryon

Former Hollywood star Fedora survived show business for a remarkable four decades thanks to her perfect features, which never faded as she aged. Now that she has finally passed away, the secret to her longevity will be revealed—a shocking revelation that will raise her to the level of myth.

Valentino: Film Detective by Loren D. Estleman

In this collection of short stories, UCLA film archivist turned detective Valentino travels the world tracking down lost Hollywood film footage. On one particular assignment, he realizes that someone is trying to keep a certain film from ever being found—no matter what the cost.

ART

The Art of Murder: Art

From museums to attics, danger follows great art—and the people who pursue it.

Goodbye Again by Joseph Hone

Ben Contini finds an original Modigliani painting hidden in his deceased mother’s attic and soon discovers its connection to the art thieves of Nazi Germany. The beautiful nude piece has made a strange journey to the Contini attic, and Ben soon learns that there are men who would kill to cover her up.

The Girl with the Botticelli Eyes by Herbert Lieberman

Art curator Mike Manship looks to secure the final three drawings for a Botticelli retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. But when he learns that a direct descendent of Botticelli’s greatest muse has been kidnapped by a neo-fascist—the same man who owns the three drawings—Manship realizes he must save the girl before all else.

Red Goose by Norbert Davis

Originally published in Black Mask magazine, this piece of pulp fiction chronicles private investigator Ben Shaley’s deadly road to retrieving the Red Goose, a painting that has vanished from its home in a high-class museum.

Fires of London by Janice Law

World War II rages in London and beyond, but famous British painter Francis Bacon doesn’t let that dampen his lifestyle of parties and pleasure. But when a young man is found dead in the park with his head smashed in, Bacon realizes this is one intrusion that will not be ignored.

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