"Murder on the Silver Screen" By Margaret Dumas: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of this book, and a link to purchase it.

“You’re not afraid of ghosts are you? It would be awful if you were.” —David Niven as Peter Carter A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Six months ago thirty-something Nora Paige’s close friend strongly suggested she take advantage of the offer to be manager of the San Francisco vintage movie house, the Palace Theater, best known for showing classic films. Her retreat from the paparazzi fueled by her film star husband’s liaison with his sexy leading lady made the opportunity a blessing. Well, “blessing” may be “rose-colored” since the former manager died in a tragic accident, a body was found in the basement, and a local real estate agent was murdered in the balcony. These murders led to conflicts with Detective Jackson and some personal peril she only “by a hair” escaped. Good side of the job? Well, there is the delightfully eclectic group of friends she encounters daily from ninety-year-old film buff Albert and curmudgeon projectionist Marty to social media film student Callie and a soft-spoken teenager Brandon and from BFF “Robbie” and Lisa with the pastries to Monica with the pot-shop, from an “undefined relationship” with maybe retired crime lord Hector and unusual relationship with a ghost!

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Soon after taking over management of the theater, Nora had a terrible fall from a ladder and the concussion brought about a unique ability. She was introduced to Beatrix George, Trixie, a twenty-year-old usherette who died in the theater in 1937. Nora’s the only one who can see and hear Trixie, who seems to have just missed the bright light to cross over, but Trixie’s been waiting a long time for someone to talk to and is thrilled and a bit over anxious at her popping in and poofing out. Nora is slowly getting better at the nuances of communicating when others see no one’s there with a soft wink, flick of a hand, or passing comment. It’s awkward, but always helpful when a less corporeal and more covert investigation is called for.

Movie Palace Mystery
Murder at the Palace KRL News & Reviews (2/15/19)
Murder in the Balcony Kings River Life (10/19/19)
Murder on the Silver Screen

Image Source Henery Press
Murder on the Silver Screen earns 5/5 Gaming Apps...Engaging Fun!
Marty is a purist ranting about technology and its destruction of society, forgetting, of course, his life-long obsession with film is engrained with technology. Brandon, however, the high-school senior who manages the snack counter, is excited about S. Banks, the brilliant game designer whose in town to make a big worldwide announcement about his new product. Tommy May, one of four owners of the Palace, is also a partner in Banks’s new venture, and the Palace was chosen as one of few venues in the world to host the webcast. Everything is so “hush, hush” with protocols and security, but Brandon will do anything to be there, and Callie promises to not make it a topic of any of her documentary ideas. Yet Marty’s words just might be prophetic, “Whatever this announcement is, I predict nothing good will come of it.”

The big day arrives! The Palace is set with over 300 guests, press, and techies excited to witness the unveiling of something huge, and Marty opining the desecration of his beloved silver screen with...color! But, as Nora watches the broadcast, she feels something’s wrong. S. Banks was trying to give his spiel on a “tech filled” version of Willy Wonka’s five golden tickets, but his demeanor with puffy eyes and slurring of words alarmed her. Banks collapses and fell silent, but he’d triggered the data and all the tablets whirled into action...the search for riches was on! But Banks? Dead!

APPsolutely Brilliant! Margaret Dumas has penned another clever mystery with which Nora and her corporeal and non-corporeal team can be involved. When millions of dollars are at stake, murder is a small price to pay making the pool of suspects pretty substantial. Although Nora and her friends were miles away when the murder took place, she is very curious and Brandon is inconsolable with his hero gone. The murder mystery has its clever twists, some misdirection, and further felonious incidents, but it’s the perfect opportunity for Hector and Nora to work together and come closer to defining their relationship. However, as the game becomes a worldwide obsession and greed causes more problems and tragedies, the fate of the Palace and finalizing her retrieval of marital funds adds to the compelling drama. Margaret Dumas has an entertaining writing style with descriptive language and engaging dialogue filled with humor and lots of references to old films. Each book has its own murder mystery to solve and there aren’t any spoilers to the previous books, but relationships and side dramas have been unfolding. Newbies may not be at a disadvantage starting with book three, but you’ll be compelled to read the other books...you won’t regret it!

“Because I love classic movies and I want you to love them, too.” If you enjoyed Sally Lee’s movie blogs interspersed throughout the book, check out the Movies My Friends Should Watch BLOG by Sally Lee. And always watch classic movies!

Be a Big Margaret Dumas Fan!
Along with this favorite three-book Movie Palace Mystery, Margaret Dumas pens the two-book Charley Fairfax Mystery series also set in San Francisco—well, she does live there ya’ know. Charley Van Leeuwen is a theater director who finds herself dealing with mayhem and murder.

Website — Margaret Dumas
Twitter — Hey Margaret

Image Source Evermine
Rachel Beyer is a creative blogger for Evermine—BLOG, and her recipes of mixed spices are a perfect way to “spice up” your popcorn for that movie marathon. Evermine Blog: Popcorn Seasoning Kit includes Cheesy Garlic Seasoning, Italian Herb Seasoning, Smoky Curry Seasoning, Mexican Chocolate Seasoning, Spicy Citrus Seasoning, Cinnamon Sugar Seasoning. Pass the popcorn!

Check out other Henery Press mysteries on their website.

To enter to win a copy of Murder on the Silver Screen, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "silver" or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 25, 2020 . U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. We delete all emails after the contest is over.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And speaking of podcasts, check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Oooh this looks to be a GREAT read! Right up my alley! :)

  2. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  3. I’d love to read this! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  4. Now would be the perfect time to rewatch some old movies. This book would be lots of fun as well, thanks for the chance to win a copy. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  5. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading the book.

  6. This sounds like an author that I would enjoy, count me in! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com


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