Toby Swanson, a pioneer in the newborn field of movie makeup, just wants a job when he is hired by the Fox Film Corporation to emphasize the allure of their latest star, Theda Bara, instead he ends up joining forces with her to solve a murder.
The year is 1914, and though it hasn't even started filming yet, "A Fool There Was" is already the hot topic, predicted to be the movie sensation of the year. Leading the cast is the movies' first true sex symbol, Theda Bara, the dark eyed and haired, pale skinned, femme-fatale, known as "The Vamp" who devours men's souls and drains their virility and bank accounts. But after a series of deaths and other calamities, Fox decides to call the whole thing off, and Theda's big chance at stardom and immortality is dashed, unless...
"The Vamp" who is actually a nice, down to earth (except for her belief in Tarot Cards and Reincarnation) Jewish girl from Cincinnati named Theodosia Goodman, "Theo" to her friends, asks her smitten makeup artist to help her save her movie. And together, aided by fellow cast members, May Allison and Edward Jose, the quest for the truth takes them everywhere from movie sets to fashionable New York nightspots, a bank in Baltimore, and down into an underground church crypt where the scions of a once illustrious family are buried, and into abandoned subway tunnels. With cameos from Harry Houdini, Rudolph Valentino before Hollywood beckoned, and songstress Sophie Tucker,
The Director's Cut is a fast-paced and fun tale of murder, mayhem, and the early days of moviemaking. Mr. DiGrazia perfectly captures the sights and sounds of the era, with authentic slang and cultural references, and a bow to the morality of the day when it comes to the risque. He deserves a big round of applause for his first Theda Bara mystery and I can't wait for him to roll out the red carpet and present the next one.
To learn more please visit his website www.kissmemyfool.com
You can order the book at Amazon and also the dvd of the movie that plays a prominent part in its pages, "A Fool There Was" in which Theda Bara "uttered" (it's a silent film so actually the title card said it for her) the immortal line "Kiss Me, My Fool!"