Silent Murders

A Roaring Twenties Mystery (Volume 2)

Mary Miley

Minotaur Books

Vaudeville actress Leah Randall took on her most daring role ever when she impersonated missing heiress Jessie Carr in order to claim Jessie’s inheritance in The Impersonator. Now that the dust has settled around that tumultuous time in her life, Leah has adopted Jessie’s name as her own and moved to Hollywood, where she's taken a modest but steady job in the silent film industry.

Jessie’s thrilled when Bruno Heilmann, a movie studio bigwig, invites her to a party. She’s even more delighted to run into a face from her past at that party. But the following day, Jessie learns that sometime in the wee hours of the morning both her old friend and Bruno Heilmann were brutally murdered. She’s devastated, but with her skill as an actress, access to the wardrobes and resources of a film studio, and a face not yet famous enough to be recognized, Jessie is uniquely positioned to dig into the circumstances surrounding these deaths. But will doing so put her own life directly in the path of a murderer?

With Silent Murders, MB/MWA First Crime Novel Competition winner Mary Miley has crafted another terrifically fun mystery, this time set in the dizzying, dazzling heart of jazz-age Hollywood.


Read an Excerpt



Turns out vaudeville doesn’t prepare you for Hollywood.

I’m a quick study and good at figuring things out, but it was a week before I could navigate the eighteen acres of stages, sets, and storage rooms at Pickford-Fairbanks Studios. It was another week before I got straight in my head the pecking order of all the directors, general managers, collaborators, producers, and other big shots and learned to tell the actors from the extras and the gaffers from the grips. To be safe, I called everyone mister or miss until they said otherwise.

Everyone called



Praise for Silent Murders

"Absorbing…Readers will enjoy the novel’s taut climax, cameos by famous and future stars, and a resourceful heroine who uses her acting skills in investigating and escaping trouble."—Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Impersonator

"Miley shows a deft touch and sets a blistering pace in her debut novel. Leah Randall/Jessie Carr leaps off the pages in this "Roaring Twenties" period piece that drips with bathtub gin, truck-size cars, outsize personalities, money, high stakes and enough twists, turns and sleights of hand to keep one reading late into the night."—David Baldacci

"Add [Miley’s] mastery of history to her fully realized characters—Leah/Jessie is especially appealing—and her shock-filled plot, and readers are treated to a lively debut and a welcome new voice in crime fiction."—Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Mary Miley has delivered a tale that lures us into the dangerous underworld of Prohibition: rum smugglers, bootleggers, and the glamorous lost realm of vaudeville, ruled by troupers like Mae West, W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor and Jack Benny, a realm so real that we can almost smell the greasepaint. The Impersonator is an exciting debut!"—Katherine Neville

"The story is engrossing, the characters satisfyingly larger than life, and one can only hope for an encore from the smart, feisty, and talented heroine."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Mary Miley

  • MARY MILEY is the winner of the 2012 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition. She worked at Colonial Williamsburg, taught American history at Virginia Commonwealth University for thirteen years, and has published extensively in history and travel. Silent Murders is her second novel. Miley lives in Richmond, Virginia.

  • Mary Miley Michaele White
    Mary Miley





    Available Formats and Book Details

    Silent Murders

    A Roaring Twenties Mystery

    Mary Miley



    Minotaur Books