2100344701 Image representing cover of Swing: a Mystery 2100344901 Photo of Rupert Holmes November/December Pick 2007 :: San Francisco Public Library
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November/December Pick 2007

Swing: a Mystery

Image representing cover of Swing: a Mystery Swing: a Mystery
by Rupert Holmes

Journey back to the 1940 World's Fair by San Francisco Bay, where jazz musician, Ray Sherwood, is appearing with Jack Donovan and His Orchestra at the baronial Claremont Hotel.
An exciting historical thriller of great local interest, Swing begins with Ray on his way to meet Gail, a college student, at Treasure Island, the extravagant San Francisco exposition that rivals the New York World's Fair of the same year. While waiting for Gail, Ray encounters a mysterious Frenchwoman who, shortly after propositioning him, plunges to her death from the Fair's tallest tower. Ray is immediately drawn into a complex and seductive mystery that will require all his nerve and improvisational ingenuity.

Brilliantly written, skillfully evoking the Big Band era and the lost world of Treasure Island, Swing is a unique and dazzling treat by a great storyteller.

For On the Same Page, the Library has purchased the 2006 trade paperback edition of Swing: a Mystery, published by Random House. It is also available at the Library as an unabridged talking book in CD format.

Photo of Rupert Holmes About the Author

Twice a recipient of the Mystery Writers of America’s coveted Edgar Award, Rupert Holmes is no stranger to the worlds of mystery or music. His first novel, Where The Truth Lies, has been made into a major motion picture by director Atom Egoyan. Holmes also created and wrote all four seasons of the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning television series, Remember WENN, set in 1940.

For his Broadway musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Holmes became the first person in theatrical history to solely win Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Music and Lyrics, while Drood itself won the Tony Award for Best Musical. His comedy-thrillers for the stage include Broadway’s Accomplice and Solitary Confinement. Holmes wrote the book for the musical, Marty, based on the film written by Paddy Chayefsky. The musical broke box office records in Boston.

Holmes’ play about George Burns and Gracie Allen, Say Goodnight, Gracie, garnered the 2004 National Broadway Theatre Award and a Tony nomination for Best Play. Holmes also won the Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Book of a Musical,” for the Kander and Ebb production, Curtains, currently on Broadway starring David Hyde Pierce (who won a Tony for his performance).

Swing's musical milieu is a reflection of another part of Holmes' career: He received a Drama Desk Award for Best Orchestration and arranged and conducted Barbra Streisand’s classic album Lazy Afternoon. Holmes’ songs have been sung by such diverse artists as The Partridge Family, Judy Collins, Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow, Patti LuPone and Britney Spears. The Los Angeles Times has called Rupert Holmes “an American treasure."

Of Related Interest

From the Library’s San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, View Highlights of the Golden Gate International Exposition Historical Photographs

Rupert Holmes’ home page

About the 1940 World’s Fair on Treasure Island

Wikipedia entry on Big Band music

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