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As well as a successful author, Kay Williams (left) is a professional actress who has played a wide range of leading roles at theaters around the U.S. For several years, Kay worked behind-the-scenes with an independent filmmaker in New York, traveling with him to Leningrad in 1991 where she received the idea for The Matryoshka Murders. Anything could happen here, she thought, in this city at this desperate time.
Eileen “Jo” Wyman, Kay’s writing partner (right), helped organize photos and notes collected from the trip, and together they drafted a plot and wrote this thriller that begins in Russia and jumps across an ocean to New York City.
Eileen, known to friends as Jo, an amazing, talented woman, tragically passed away on Sept. 6, 2013, just after The Matryoshka Murders was completed. Jo worked in radio-TV and began her writing career in comedy, crafting jokes for speech writers and comedians, humorous fillers for magazines, and captions for cartoonists. She loved humor—from punch line jokes to surreal comedy to wit and word play—filling file box after file box with her wry, pithy descriptions.
The authors’ move into the crime-ridden, sleazy Hell’s Kitchen of 1977 provided the catalyst for their award-winning thriller, Butcher of Dreams. Kay’s wide ranging acting credits and theater experience gave focus to this character/plot driven mystery that centers around the struggling 42nd Street repertory theater where much of the action takes place.
Kay is also a co-author of the comic romance One Last Dance:It’s Never Too Late to Fall in Love, started by her journalist father Mardo Williams, and finished by her and her sister Jerri Lawrence. One Last Dance has won several awards, including an Ohioana Award (to Jerri and Kay) for writing and editing excellence.
Coming next (dedicated to Jo) - Part One of a Series: New York City, Collected Letters, 1956-57: Were We Ever That Young?, the hilarious, heart-breaking and hair-raising adventures of two starry-eyed girls from the Midwest (Jo and Kay) who arrive in New York City with big dreams of success. Part Two of the Series will be San Francisco, Collected Letters, the Sixties.
on Jan. 11, 2011 :
It takes a gripping ebook (and my lack of an ereader) to keep me glued to my computer in this perfect summer sunshine when I could be at the beach. But for the last two days I’ve been too engrossed in the unfolding story of Lee Fairchild and her struggling New York theatre to spare a thought for the tempting waves lapping on golden sand just a couple of blocks away. No, I’ve been in a cold dark theatre being scared out of my wits – and loving it!
This book keeps raising the level of suspense with consummate skill, teasing the reader and daring them to guess who the murderer might be. Like Lee, we’re unable to figure out who to trust. The people closest to her have so many secrets to hide we just can’t tell who’s responsible for the escalating weirdness, the blood-laced rituals, and violent deaths that threaten to bring the theatre to its knees.
You northern folk, buy Butcher of Dreams and read it now. Those in the southern hemisphere, buy it and save it for next winter!
Reviewed by Bev Robitai, author of Murder in the Second Row.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)