BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY NOVEL 2004 Nero Wolfe Award Nominee



Scroll to read the RAVES from Newsweek, The LA Times,
The New York Times, The Chicago Sun-Times,
Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, NY Daily News,
The Houston Chronicle, US News & World Report, People, Atlanta Journal Const., Kirkus Reviews, New Haven Advocate, Library Journal, The Onion, USA Today, Newsday ... from numerous best-selling authors ... or an excerpt from the novel.

A Renaissance man
pens a delectable crime novel

With his wonderfully witty first novel, Holmes proves for once and for all he's no one hit wonder. The perfect tale for insomniacs, "Where the Truth Lies" will keep you tossing and turning pages all night long!

Rupert Holmes's witty analysis of Alice in Wonderland — as a neurotic young woman who ingests forbidden substances and wanders through surreal landscapes in search of dangerous knowledge and new sensations — goes a long way to explain the quirky charms of his first novel. Holmes, who has won honors galore for his inventive storytelling on Broadway and elsewhere, here delivers a giddy fun-house ride through bygone eras. As the go-go girl of the 70's, his chatty heroine O'Connor tempts us to throw on a pair of bell-bottoms and dash out for some reckless sex, while Vince and Lanny invest the forgotten 50's with all the brash and vulgar celebrity glamour of a mad tea party in Las Vegas. -Marilyn Stasio

He's conquered Broadway (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), TV (Remember WENN), and pop music (“Escape ‘The Pina Colada Song’”). Now Holmes ventures into novels with a  '70s-set  showbiz whodunit: Miss O'Connor gets embroiled in a murder mystery while ghostwriting a memoir of a fading star best known for his years with a pratfall-prone sidekick.  Between Virginia Slims and vermouth, Miss O proves quite the Nancy Drew - although Nancy never bedded her suspects!  And thanks to her freewheeling voice, Truth is engrossing from start to finish.  Just don't lend it to your Sue Grafton-loving grandma — the ménage a trois with a theme-park Alice in Wonderland might be too much for the old gal
An A-rating
-Melissa Rose Bernardo

Holmes is an award-winning Broadway playwright and composer (The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Accomplice), so it's only appropriate that his hugely entertaining first novel should be set in the world of show business.

Holmes has a wonderful feeling for period detail, and the ’60s and ’70s spring vividly back to horrific life through the brilliant narration of the romantically susceptible heroineThe novel is witty, sexy and suspenseful - a glittering ride!

Forecast: With the intriguing combination of a Broadway name and a sensational plot, this is

Maybe this book was a game Holmes played with himself: could he think of an unexpected, funny, and original way to write each and every sentence? His free-flowing pastiche of 1970s culture is free of cliche and convention (except the ones he's mocking). The heroine is wiseass 26-year-old K. O'Connor, a reporter chasing a Brat-Packy comedy duo for its True Hollywood Story (in which a woman's suspicious death lurks). O'Connor's tough-girl commentary nails the era: "Everyone was named Tracy these days. Even people named Jennifer were secretly named Tracy." FILM RIGHTS: Canadian indie director Atom Egoyan. INEVITABLE CAMEO: Holmes won three Tonys for his The Mystery of Edwin Drood. And he wrote and sang "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" in 1979. CASTING CALL: He suggested Kukla, Fran, and Ollie to USA Today.


A star is assigned to books of unusual merit by the editors of Kirkus Reviews.
Edgar/Tony/Emmy award-winning playwright/singer/songwriter Holmes hangs his splashy and amusing plot on an unsolved murder in the bitter past of a song-and-laff-riot team.  Readers who can accept a twentysomething reporter with
the sharp wit of a fiftysomething comedy genius will have a swell time finding out how the beautiful corpse came to lose a couple of toes and what really came between the former chums.  Slickly funny showbiz romp with lots of great scenery!

The narrator of Holmes's first novel has everything you want in a '70s showbiz reporter. Holmes nicely recalls the era and is a gifted plotter as well. The story is as refreshing as a Pina Colada and a most
pleasant "Escape."

For all of Holmes's accomplishments (pop singer, Tony & Emmy Award winner, record producer), this is his debut in the writing world and it's notable for its wit, snappy dialog, uncanny sense of Hollywood glitz, backstage politics, and dirty deedsThis can’t-miss novel will have wide appeal, including fans of the time period, modern mystery lovers, and anyone who likes turning pages rapidly.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

6 debut novelists look to turn heads; these contenders could have the elusive surprise best seller.  Nothing is as rare as a best-selling debut novelist. That said, here are six contenders for this summer. 

Asked about the cast for the movie version of his novel, Where the Truth Lies (Random House, 392 pp., $24.95, July 1), Rupert Holmes offers suggestions. "Maybe Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as comedians Vince Collins and Lanny Morris and Kate Hudson as the desirable, sharp-tongued journalist who becomes intertwined with them. Or perhaps Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller and any actress in America who's shorter than they are. Or what about Kukla, Fran and Ollie," he says, referring to the puppet stars of the '50s. "This is probably why I'm not a studio head."

Holmes is a playwright, composer, screenwriter and pop singer whose credits range from the Tony Award-winning musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood to the 1979 pop hit he wrote and sang, "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)." Now he has written a hilarious send-up of the entertainment business and the '70s wrapped in a mystery. It already has been optioned by film director Atom Egoyan.

Holmes says a hit song or TV show has to entertain millions, but he discovered that "a novel is written for an audience of one. . . . You begin to sense this person as you write your book, and soon they are the best friend you ever had."

His novel is partially patterned on his childhood idols, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, "a two-man Rat Pack before there was a six-pack Rat Pack." But he says it's not about them. Rather, "it's about the trust that must exist between any show business team who puts their lives in each other's hands" and "what happens when they no longer trust each other."

His favorite debut novel? A tie between F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise and Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles, both from 1920.

Read the Raves from these best-selling authors!

"A beguiling suspense novel, sexy and surprising, witty and intriguing.  I was hooked from the very first page!"

-- Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City and Four Blondes

"Days after you finish this book, you'll still feel the narrator's voice elbowing through your brain.  Fully realized characters, ruthless commentary, and a beautifully dark sense of humor -- all masquerading as a hyper-clever mystery.  You won't look at the truth the same way again. "  

--Brad Meltzer, author of The Millionaires  

"Rupert Holmes seats you gently next to an irresistible narrator only to entangle you completely in her twisted, dark, exhilarating troubles.  The ensuing thriller crosses a Dickensian world of deceit and destiny with the slipping glory of 1970's New York and Los Angeles.  Every character is so alive with delicious secrets that you'll never expect Where the Truth Lies."

--Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club

"Five pages into Rupert Holmes' Where the Truth Lies, I was intrigued.  Twenty pages in, I was laughing. A hundred pages in, my wife told me to turn off the damned light already and come to bed. This is a book astonishing not only for its intricate plot and rich characters, but for the ways in which it finds humor in the darkest of places."

--Eric Garcia, author of Matchstick Men 

"Rupert Holmes is a genius." 

--Jason Alexander

Hot Days, Cool Reads

Peter Terzian

May 25, 2003

Whether you're looking for sunny, sexy, funny or scary, this summer promises some spine-cracking good reads. Here are some other books we'll be kicking back with in the upcoming dog days.

Do you like pina coladas? Getting caught in the rain? Then Where the Truth Lies (Random House, July) might be the book for you. Author Rupert Holmes had a successful career in the '70s and '80s as a soft-rock singer-songwriter; his biggest hit was - you guessed it - "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)." He went on to adapt Dickens' "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" for Broadway, so it's no surprise that his debut novel is, according to his publisher, "a neo-Dickensian thriller set in 1970s New York and Los Angeles."

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