'Where the Truth Lies'

Rupert Holmes "Where the Truth Is"
AP
The name Rupert Holmes may sound familiar since, in addition to having won a Grammy and two Tony awards, he also wrote "Escape (The Pina Colada Song").

Well, now this Renaissance man has moved into the literary world. Holmes tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith, "I have always told stories. Some of my stories were in three-minute song form. Some were for Broadway, two hours with an intermission. I did a TV series for four years that was with reruns. And this story really needed to be told in an expanded form, a novel so, therefore, my first novel."

"Where The Truth Lies" is a kind of whodunit and Newsweek magazine calls it a wonderfully witty first novel.

"It's a tale of suspense as well as comedy," Holmes says, "And I feel in suspense, when it's told in the first person, the reader kind of feels that tension with that person. The person in this story is a journalist who is uncovering secrets that may be best left covered up."

The female journalist is known only as O'Connor. She is trying to discover what two celebrities really know about the death of a woman who was found in their hotel room about 15 years earlier.

The two celebrities, Vince Collins and Lanny Morris, are an entertaining duo who sing and do comedy much in the style of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. O'Connor is hired by a publisher to write a book/biography of Vince Collins - the singer and straight man in the act - for which Collins will be given a million dollars. The catch is that he must talk about what happened regarding the death of Maureen O'Flaherty, a hotel employee in Miami, and how she was discovered dead in Vince and Lanny's hotel suite in New Jersey.

Holmes says, "I was haunted by the death of Natalie Wood and the fact that there are two men, both wonderful celebrities that we all like, Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken, who know what happened that night that she left that yacht. And we don't. I thought, what if a journalist tried to uncover where the truth lies in their secret? And so that led to this. It was just about a lot of different people."

The book takes place in the '70s, which Holmes notes was definitely a lush era. He says, "I entered show biz in the mid '73 and was thrust into Hollywood. I was working with Barbra Streisand. I saw this incredible dream world that was not a dream world. It was real, except it was surreal. I thought this would be a great setting for a suspense thriller."

It also has a cinematic tone; in fact, Atom Egoyan, director of "The Sweet Hereafter," is currently working on the screenplay.

Next for Holmes is a second novel. He says, "I guess I'm a novelist. I still think I'm going to be the Pina Colada guy, too."