Marni Graff is the award-wining author of The Nora Tierney Mysteries, set in England. Her new series debuts with Death Unscripted, a Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery. Graff also writes the crime review blog Auntie M Writes. Today she joins us to talk about little gems hidden away in The Big Apple. Learn more about Marni and her books at her website.
When people hear the name “Manhattan” they often think of the dazzling lights of Broadway and Times Square, the gaudy shops along Fifth Avenue, The Plaza Hotel and Central Park.
Growing up on Long Island, Manhattan was all that to me and so much more, only a train ride away. It’s also a place where there are smaller jewels to be discovered that most tourists miss.
|The Morgan Library|
One of my favorite places to stop is TheMorgan Library and Museum at 225 Madison Avenue and 36th Street, which began as the private library of financier J. Pierpont Morgan. Designed by Charles Kim of the renowned architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, the Italian Renaissance-style structure holds three soaring elegant rooms in their original condition. A modern annex holds more of Morgan’s collections, and there’s a tea room and gift shop, too, but the original library was donated by son J.P. Morgan to the public in 1924 to allow them access to his father’s treasures.
And what treasures these are, from Medieval and Renaissance illustrated manuscripts, early books and historical manuscripts, to Old Master drawings and prints, including a massive Rembrandt etching collection and things like a journal written by Thoreau. These reside alongside ancient artifacts, and scholars can apply for access to the volumes. There are also special events, such as this summer’s Alice: 150 Years in Wonderland, through October 11th. For the first time outside London’s British Library visitors can see the original Carroll manuscript, as well as original illustrations and drawings, rare editions, and vintage photographs. It’s a place I can visit over and over.
Another unusual stop is the Paley Center for Media (paleycenter.org), formerly the Museum for Television and Radio, renamed in 2007 for founder William Paley. The center’s collection features over 150,000 clips from television shows, radio programs and podcasts. Introduce children to vintage TV or watch a clip from a show you enjoyed. There are public events in their auditorium, too, like an upcoming discussion August 16th of the show Homicide between its creators, Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson. Or stop by September 28th for a talk by journalist Christiane Amanpour.
The bustling energy and international flavor of Manhattan has always been attractive to me, one reason I decided to set my new mystery series there. Based on my medical consulting days working for a movie studio, most of my time was spent at the ABC Studio that taped “One Life to Live,” right down the street from Lincoln Center. I’d walk there at lunchtime to see what was on at the Met or the Ballet, or simply watch the play of its fountains. It’s a great plaza for people watching and collecting characters. Living in North Carolina now, I still yearn for the special vibe that is Manhattan’s own, and visit whenever I can.
Trudy Genova has the best job any nurse could want, working onset as a medical consultant for a movie studio. No more uniforms, bedpans or emergencies, until the actor whose overtures she’s refused dies suddenly while taping a hospital scene--but not before pointing his finger accusingly at Trudy. When detectives view Trudy as a suspect, she interferes with their investigation to clear her name. Then a second death occurs, and Trudy realizes she’s put herself in jeopardy.
Based on the author’s real life work experience, Death Unscripted takes readers behind the scenes of a Manhattan soap opera.