Book review: Curtain Call

Anthony QuinnThe 1930s come alive in this novel by journalist Anthony Quinn, I stepped into his world and felt as if I was there. An effortless read, I was plunged into the worlds of Stephen Wyley, artist; Nina Land, actress; the gloriously-named Madeline Farewell, hostess; Jimmy Erskine, theatre critic; and Tom Tunner, Erskine’s assistant.

The setting is a time of looming war, royal crisis, blackshirts and strict homosexuality laws. It is not an easy novel to categorize: there are murders, but it is not a detective novel; we see the world of art and theatre and prostitution, but it is not a novel about art etc. Packed with period detail, with not one detail too many, this is written with a light hand and a clever plot. It starts with a romantic assignation and chance encounter in a hotel with a murderer, known in the newspapers as the Tiepin Killer. This meeting of only seconds, brings together the key characters and kickstarts the murder plotline.

Curtain Call is the predecessor, not prequel, to Quinn’s latest novel Freya. I loved Freya, read my review of here.

If you like ‘Curtain Call’, try these other 1930s novels:-
‘The Light Years’ by Elizabeth Jane Howard
‘At Mrs Lippincote’s’ by Elizabeth Taylor
‘The Death of the Heart’ by Elizabeth Bowen

‘Curtain Call’ by Anthony Quinn [UK: Vintage] Buy here

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The 1930s come alive in Anthony Quinn’s CURTAIN CALL #bookreview by @Sandra Danby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1Xu