Matt Johanssen, a dedicated stage actor in his early fifties, is currently rehearsing a play soon to open on Broadway. Through the years, Matt has also anonymously assisted the NYPD in solving a number of crimes.
Midway through rehearsals, a startling murder takes place thirty blocks away at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a trustee is discovered on the roof with a javelin thrust through his heart. Later, just prior to opening night, the admired and beloved producer of Matt's play, Dorothy Tremayne, is found dead in the theatre’s darkened basement lounge.Ten days later, during a gala at the American Museum of Natural History, there is another murder far more sensational than the ones before. Working behind the scenes, Matt becomes deeply involved in solving all three cases. Meanwhile, he meets an intriguing, auburn-haired woman writing about the murders, and a romantic liaison develops amid the danger and suspense.
Set against the backdrop of the inner workings of New York City’s theatre, art, and cultural scenes, The Patron Murders is part detective story, part social novel, and a witty, incisive critique of the parvenues who attempt to gain acceptance in the old-line arts establishment.
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I looked forward to reading The Patron Murders as soon as I read the description. I love novels set in the theater world, and a mystery was even more intriguing.
This is a complex, sophisticated mystery. The detective, actor Matt Johanssen, is faced with solving the mystery behind three murders in the New York City arts community. The mystery aspects of this novel are particularly well written, and kept me guessing until the very end of the novel.
Matt Johanssen is an interesting and unusual detective. I really enjoyed reading about his life as an actor. Edwin Wilson's rich theater background gave The Patron Murders a sense of authenticity and unique detailed storytelling.
I hope this mystery will become the first in a series, as I would like to read more. I recommend The Patron Murders for anyone who loves theater and a well written mystery.
Author, teacher, critic, Edwin Wilson began his career as Assistant to the Producer for the Broadway play Big Fish, Little Fish directed by John Gielgud, and the film Lord of the Flies directed by Peter Brook. He produced plays off-Broadway and coproduced the Broadway play Agatha Sue, I Love You directed by George Abbott. He also produced the film The Nashville Sound.
Educated at Vanderbilt, Edinburgh, and Yale, he received the first Doctor of Fine Arts degree awarded by Yale. From 1972 to 1994 he was the theatre critic for The Wall Street Journal. For thirty years he taught at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. During the past four decades he has been the preeminent writer of college theatre textbooks in the U.S. His three books (two coauthored with Alvin Goldfarb) have sold nearly one million copies.
He has served as president of the Theatre Development Fund and the New York Drama Critics Circle, as well as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Drama Jury.In the early 1990s, he conducted a series of ninety half-hour television interviews with theater artists ranging from George Abbott to Jerry Zaks, which appeared on CUNY-TV in New York and 200 PBS stations around the country.
The Patron Murders is Wilson’s first novel.
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