Book Review: ‘Tinseltown’ And The Golden Age Of Hollywood

tinseltown book

Review by Ann McDonald

In 1922, 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.

‘Tinseltown’ is a clever story of murder and mayhem, woven around a Hollywood director, William Desmond Taylor, turned movie executive. He is found shot to death by his valet one morning, waking the entire neighborhood with his screams. Author William Mann tells the story of old Hollywood, or should I say, young Hollywood since the story takes place in the 1920s and Mr. Mann is determined to find the culprit. But where to start!

If you enjoy old-time Hollywood glitz and glamor, greed and the depictions of young starlets, reaching for fame and fortune along with a few pushy mothers thrown into the mix, then this tale’s for you. Apparently, drugs were very prevalent at that time so if some of the ladies you are introduced to seem inattentive and spaced out, they probably were. Mr. Mann whets our appetite with good backstories, screaming headlines and rumors of buried pasts with hidden secrets.

You are introduced to old time movie magnates, some of them you will recognize, others, not so much. The author has a mountain of research to work from and a familiarity with his subject matter that makes this book very readable. It’s an interesting tale and in the end, everything comes together nicely as he intends it to. A good winter read.

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Ann McDonald

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