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  • The Murder Room

Final Portrait

Vera Caspary

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Crime & mystery

'Vera Caspary is an expert at suspense and suspicion' New York Times

'Vera Caspary and others were the forerunners of Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott, Laura Lippmann and of course, Paula Hawkins' Irish Times

Renowned painter Henry Leveret is found shot dead in his downtown studio, and his estranged son, Michael, returns to his family and his father's circle of friends in order to try to find out who killed him.

There are plenty of suspects: his gallery manager, Chandler Sprague, who is in love with Henry's widow; his wealthy heiress assistant Janet Altheim, who was in love with him; and her lover Bruno, who resented Henry are just a few on Michael's list.

But Leveret was writing a biography of sorts, his own confession, when he was shot. Was he about to reveal something, a secret that cost him his life?

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Vera Caspary

Vera Caspary (1899-1987)
Vera Caspary, the acclaimed American writer of novels, plays, short stories and screenplays, was born in Chicago in 1899. Her writing talent shone from a young age and, following the death of her father, her work became the primary source of income for Caspary and her mother. A young woman when the Great Depression hit America, Caspary soon developed a keen interest in Socialist causes, and joined the Communist Party under a pseudonym. Although she soon left the party after becoming disillusioned, Caspary's leftist leanings would later come back to haunt her when she was greylisted from Hollywood in the 1950s for Communist sympathies. Caspary spent this period of self-described 'purgatory' alternately in Europe and America with her husband, Igee Goldsmith, in order to find work. After Igee's death in 1964, Caspary returned permanently to New York, where she wrote a further eight titles. Vera Caspary died in 1987 and is survived by a literary legacy of strong independent female characters.

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