Welcome to my tour stop for The Patron Murders by Edwin Wilson. The Patron Murders is a mystery and the tour runs March 1-11 with reviews, guest posts, interviews and exerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
The Patron Murders
by Edwin Wilson
Matt Johanssen, a dedicated stage actor in the early fifties, is currently rehearsing a plays 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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Over the last year, I’ve found out that I really like mystery novels. I get a sort of kick out of reading them and attempting to solve the mystery before the book is over. The Patron Murders was a bit of a different mystery read of me. It was both fascinating and straight to the point.
The whole novel sort of read like a black and white private investigator saga, complete with voiceovers. I loved that this was the visual I got from reading the book, while at the same time the story was modern and relevant. The protagonist Matt Johanssen I keep wanting to describe as elegant. Throughout the whole book, he was calm, collected and gave the reader facts as if I were reading the most riveting newspaper article ever.
The Patron Murders also had an interesting take on the ways the wealthy and influential have on the boards of art establishments. If anything, this novel was eye opening to the potentional for corruption, greed and vindictive behavior that revolves around this world that I admittedly knew very little about.
This is a different type of mystery novel. It’s one where the protagonist, while investigative, is eye opening. Where the facts are laid out with a nice bow tied around them and where life realistically continues after a heineous crime is commited.
About the Author:
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 Stree Journal. For htirty 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.