One morning legendary wit Dorothy Parker discovers someone under Manhattan's famed Algonquin Round Table. A little early for a passed out drunk, isn't it? But he's not dead drunk, just dead. When a charming writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting her literary cohorts. It's up to the Algonquins to outwit the true culprit - preferably before cocktail hour - and before the clever killer turns the tables on them.
"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story." That well-known line is used to describe the members of the Algonquin Round Table in Murder Your Darlings. I was unable to chase down the exact origin of the quote - it's attributed to a variety of sources - but it fits this book and it's cast of characters perfectly. Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchly, William Faulkner and company are, of course, real people portrayed in a fictitious murder mystery. The author admits taking liberties with the timeline to fit his story, but the blend of history and mystery is just right. Once the story was complete, I was intrigued enough to do some further reading on the Round Table regulars.
The mystery plot isn't anything to write home about and the ending is...odd, but the combination of real characters, and Parker and Benchley's quick, acerbic wit make this a unique story that's worth the read. I'll be on the lookout for the second book in the series, You Might As Well Die.