#BookReview Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen by Sarah James @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #LastNightattheHollywoodCanteen #SarahJames #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen

Author: Sarah James

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Nov. 7, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8/10

Perhaps the best place in 1943 Hollywood to see the stars is the Hollywood Canteen, a club for servicemen staffed exclusively by those in show business. Murder mystery playwright Annie Laurence, new in town after a devastating breakup, definitely hopes to rub elbows with the right stars. Maybe then she can get her movie made.

But Hollywood proves to be more than tinsel and glamour. When despised film critic Fiona Farris is found dead in the Canteen kitchen, Annie realizes any one of the Canteen’s luminous volunteers could be guilty of the crime. To catch the killer, Annie falls in with Fiona’s friends, a bitter and cynical group―each as uniquely unhappy in their life and career as Annie is in hers―that call themselves the Ambassador’s Club.

Solving a murder in real life, it turns out, is a lot harder than writing one for the stage. And by involving herself in the secrets and lies of the Ambassador’s Club, Annie just might have put a target on her own back.


Tense, suspenseful, and fun!

Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen is a scheming, twisty whodunit that sweeps you away to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age and into the life of Annie Laurence, a New York playwright who, after a devastating breakup and the end of her show, heads to LA to start a new life writing for the movies only to find herself quickly in a world of trouble when one of her new friends, a famous critic who seems to have had a little bit of dirt on everyone is found murdered and everybody seems to have had at least one reason to want her dead.

The writing is witty and tight. The characters are ambitious, self-obsessed, and vulnerable. And the plot is an enticing mix of lies, secrets, drama, duplicity, manipulation, mayhem, substance abuse, movie-making, amateur sleuthing, and murder.

Overall, Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen is a menacing, nostalgic, highly entertaining tale by James that is the perfect choice for fans of 1940s Tinseltown mysteries that have an abundance of quirky characters, Hollywood legends, and straight-up detective work.


This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Sarah James

Sarah James is the author of twisty homefront historical mysteries. Her debut novel THE WOMAN WITH TWO SHADOWS was an international best-seller. Her second novel, LAST NIGHT AT THE HOLLYWOOD CANTEEN, is forthcoming from Sourcebooks.

In addition to writing historical fiction, Sarah is a humor writer and editor of Slackjaw, Medium's largest humor publication. She has also contributed to Baseball Prospectus, Reductress, Pittsburgh City Paper, CrimeReads, and more.

Sarah is a graduate of the USC MFA Writing for Screen and Television program, and received a BA in American Studies from Fordham University. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her cat, Lucille.

Photo: Matt Mahaffey