LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page."Don't believe anything they say."Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her--and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn't a kid anymore, and this time she won't let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets--and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie's attacker behind bars--if Alice can find her first. And she isn't the only one lookingEvoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.
♪ "Penny Nails" - John Murry
This song was in my head whenever I was trying to get a handle on Alice's emotions. All the people in her life who were supposed to love her have let her down. The kind of love they're capable of giving to her isn't healthy or good, but she needs it anyway, and to me, that's what this song is about.
“It’s a well known drag, but it brings me down/My folks don’t care cuz they ain’t around”
The first line of this song was in my head from the first draft. In the beginning, I flirted with the idea of making the book kind of a Rebel Without a Cause, 1950s juvenile delinquent film-inspired thing, and this song was right at home there. In the end, film noir won out, though.
There's this part in the movie where Judy Garland says, "I don't think there's anything in that black bag for me," and it just kills me every time. The tone in her voice when she says it, that’s Alice in a nutshell.
This is one of Annie’s favorite songs, and I imagine that Ella Fitzgerald’s is the performance Annie would have wanted to emulate.
This is the song that’s playing when pretty much everything in the book goes to hell.
Again, this song is a classic and there have been so many beautiful renditions of it, but Lena Horne’s performance was the one that felt the closest to my characters.
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Mary McCoy is a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the 1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles's notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. Mary now lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Her debut novel, Dead To Me, is a YA mystery set in the glamorous, treacherous world of 1940s Hollywood.
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