“Murder Will Out” Latest in Local Author's Detective Series

Tom Logan is no armchair detective or desk jockey, he’s a real-deal private eye who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty in the pursuit of justice.  And what better place to get your hands dirty than in 1930 Hollywood, where glamour and greed are two sides of the same glittering coin.

Local writer, Tony Piazza, the brains behind the Tom Logan detective series, brings his readers something a little bit different with his latest work, Murder Will Out.  This collection of three Logan short stories means three times the adventure and also gives a glimpse into the life of the up-and-coming gumshoe just before he really hits his stride.

In “Logan Takes a Gamble,” Tom finds himself on a casino boat trying to rescue a woman from the clutches of a racketeer and emerges soaking wet but victorious.  In “Death Hides Behind a Mask”, he comes face-to-face with a truly chilling female villain worthy of a James Whale production.

“Murder Will Out”, the longest in the collection at 220 pages, sends Logan on the run as he tries to protect a beautiful female witness, Mei-Ling, while also keeping a target off of his own back.  A murdered prostitute, a secret black book that could take down some serious big wigs, and a crime organization known as The Syndicate are the key ingredients in this classic noir tale that ends, appropriately, with the phrase “The Beginning”.  A fitting conclusion to the prequel of Piazza’s first novel, Anything Short of Murder.

The decision to create a collection of short stories that go back to the early days of Logan’s career was a conscious one in both form and subject.  “It was an experiment,” Piazza explains.  “I wanted to try the short story format.  I wanted to see if I was capable of doing it.”

He recounts a recent incident when a woman stopped by his table at an author event, picked up one of his books, and proclaimed, “I wouldn’t read that!”  When asked why not, her answer was short but telling:  “It’s too long,” she told him.  

“There are groups out there that don’t want to spend a lot of time reading,” he says. He considers his experiment a success and is open to trying it again in the future, but for his next project he’ll return to full-length novels.  It’s clear from the not-so-short story “Murder Will Out” that he enjoys exploring the potential that stories present.

As far as Logan’s back story, Piazza wanted to visit Tom as a single man and take the opportunity to bring in new female characters.  And now that we’ve gotten a glimpse into his past, Piazza will once again be taking us back to his “present”.  

Piazza is known for creating vivid locations in his novels.  Murder is Such Sweet Revenge centered around a luxurious hotel in San Diego, Murder Will Out skipped from the Hollywood Hills to Chinatown to the Venice Pier, and the next adventure for Tom and his now-wife Rita will send them to the Grand Canyon.

“I like to research my books,” Piazza says.  “When you write, you paint pictures for your readers.”  To achieve this, he visits locations and takes countless photographs and notes.  His latest research excursions have taken him to the Grand Canyon as well as the Santa Maria Inn and, as he points out, there are still endless Los Angeles locations to explore.

Though writing and publicity take up a fair chunk of the author’s time, Piazza always finds ways to keep things interesting.  He is currently collaborating on the audiobook for Murder Will Out with Broadway actor James Romick and will host the Bullitt 50th Anniversary presentation at the Santa Maria Library in May.  He also recently had a successful book signing at The Bookworm and praises the used bookstore for supporting local authors.

To find out more, visit www.authortonypiazza.com.  All of Tony Piazza’s novels, as well as memoirs recounting his time spent working as an extra and stand-in for television and film, are available on Amazon.com.

Rebecca Ross reporting