Breakfast at Timothy’s Novel by Richard Tyler Jordan Review
I have been a fan of Richard Tyler Jordan for many years. I discovered Richard when he wrote the book But Darling I’m Your Auntie Mame. The book was a history of the character of Mame Dennis, who appeared in a novel by Patrick Dennis called Auntie Mame, in 1955. The Character became so popular that she became a hit on Broadway in a play based on the book starring Rosalind Russell. But Auntie Mame wasn’t content to stay on Broadway soon, a film came out based on the play, and of course, the character was played again by Rosalind Russell. Mame didn’t stay stagnant here, either. In 1966, the Broadway Musical Mame opened to a stellar reception, but this time, the wonderful Angel Lansbury played the character.
In 1974, Mame made it to the big screen. Unfortunately, the role did not go to Miss Lansbury but to Lucille Ball, and the film did not do well. Miss Ball was a talented actress, but her career was winding down, and she was a bit too old for the role. Also, the script was changed in some significant ways, which detracted from the story. This complete tale is told in Richard’s book and one I heartily recommend be read.
Richard then wrote a series of mysteries called The Polly Pepper Mysteries. Polly Pepper is an aging actress who seems to stumble across bodies in hysterical ways. The series has been described as a cross between Carol Burnett and Murder She Wrote. These books are a lot of fun. It’s a bit of a pleasure to guess the real identities of the celebrities that Richard has based his characters on.
Richard is never one to rest on his laurels. After taking a brief hiatus from writing novels, Richard has offered what I believe could be called a cozy murder mystery in Breakfast at Timothy’s.
Breakfast at Timothy’s is the story of Timothy Trousdale, a young man fresh out of college who has moved to New York to become a famous novelist. New York City is a tough town for anyone, but even more so for a timid guy like Timothy. He works at a restaurant but gets a break when he lands a job as an assistant to the great movie star, Mercedes Ford. Timothy is a huge fan and can’t wait to start this job, which includes living in the star’s New York Penthouse.
Timothy can’t believe his luck it seems like everything is coming up roses until he meets his boss, Jared, who is the king of making people feel degraded. Jared begins putting Timothy down almost the moment he meets him, and Timothy’s shy demeanor does nothing to help. In moving into the Penthouse, Timothy finds that he is sharing the posh New York apartment with Fabiola, a woman who Timothy assumes is the maid but doesn’t seem to work. Fabiola also has a temper that she shows easily.
Timothy is given jobs on the spur of the moment, like planning a charitable party in a couple of days. Timothy does a great job on this, but Jared finds fault with everything Timothy accomplishes. The one bright spot is piano tuner Timothy hired a handsome young man named Brad, and Timothy is smitten.
It is not long after this that Jared, that despicable creep, ends up dead in the Penthouse’s secret room. Everyone believes the death was an accident, but Timothy knows better, and with the help of Fabiola and the handsome Brad, Timothy sets out to catch a killer.
Breakfast at Timothy’s is a great book for those days when the nights are long, and settling down with a good book and a cup of cocoa or a glass of wine wrapped in a comforter seems the best way to spend the evening. It’s an easy read where the hero may be timid, but he is also intelligent and knows a thing or two about catching a killer. I suspect Timothy read a lot of Agatha Christie, though it’s not mentioned in the book.
There are surprises along the way. It seems Fabiola is not what she seems, and it seems that Timothy’s boss, after the death of Jared, Murial Maynard, has her own secrets and is just as nasty as Jared.
This is a soft, comfortable mystery. Think of it as an extended version of Murder She Wrote. In fact, during that series, Jessica chose to read her books once in a while, and this feels like something Jessica Fletcher might have written.
No matter what, Breakfast at Timothy’s can be a fun ride. You’ll be guessing early on who the murderer might be, but you will never know for sure until the end.