Robert Giroux's analysis of the 1922 unsolved murder of film director William Desmond Taylor focuses on the two actresses in Taylor's life--ingenue Mary Miles Minter and Mabel Normand, a star and a drug addict.
Well-born but disinherited Anglo-Irish actor and one-time Yukon prospector William Desmond Taylor was a prominent Paramount movie director at the time of his unsolved murder in 1922. Suspects included his secretary Edward Sands, a thief and forger; Henry Peavey, his Black, gay cook; and two flamboyant screen stars: drug-addicted Mabel Normand, whom he loved; and 20-year-old Mary Miles Minter, who yearned to be his mistress. In a meticulous probe that reads like a detective thriller, editor-publisher Giroux (The Book Known as Q) makes a strong case that the murderer was a contract killer. He shows that Normand had incurred the wrath of dope peddlers, as had Taylor when he tried to help her break her addiction. Brimming with details of Hollywood's silent era and its rampant post-WW I drug culture, this procedural offers glimpses of Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Sam Goldwyn, Mack Sennett, Fatty Arbuckle. Illustrations.--Publishers Weekly
- Publisher : Knopf; 1st edition (May 26, 1990)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 275 pages
- Item Weight : 3 pounds