MURDER ON THE ROAD SHOW BY RUDY FRANCHI BLENDS
DECEIT AND DEATH WITH ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES
Carlo is a rougish, handsome New York collectibles dealer who wangles his way onto the new TV Show, Antiques On The Road.
At the show’s very first stop, Cincinnati , Carlo discovers a rare 1930s movie poster and on his way to taping this treasure, he discovers a dead body. It is a show guest who had been run through with a Civil War sword that has been just evaluated as very valuable.
A local detective cites Carlo as the chief suspect and he is forced to try and solve the murder to clear himself. The bloody body also unleashes a cascade of strange and dangerous characters, chief among them his fellow appraiser, whose forced smiles reveal pearly teeth.
During all this, Carlo continues to travel from city to city, sharing numerous appraisals of pop culture collectibles ranging from Mickey Mouse memorabilia to vintage Coca-Cola signs.
In conversations with fellow dealer, the show’s guests and in asides to the reader, Carlo shares some well guarded trade secrets: how to really buy low and sell high (also know as “euchering the punter”); why are the vast majority of movie signed 8 x 10 glossies totally worthless and exactly what is the notorious “box call.”
Also revealed are the backstage machinations of Antiques On The Road, chief among them the tricks appraisers use to convince the producer to put the Holy Grail they just discovered on TV and how do the dealers know so much about the object that the viewer is blinded with science.
Carlo has several personal obsessions: a fervent love for New York; word play of all kind, especially puns and anagrams and a passion for fine clothing. It is the latter that helps him solve the murder, while lying in a sex wrecked bed, watching the sun rise over Bismarck, North Dakota.
Author Rudy Franchi was an on air collectibles appraiser with the PBS series Antiques Roadshow, from its first season in 1997 through 2011, when he retired to spend less time with his family and more time working on his website (www.posterappraisal.com) plus even more time writing.
There are, so far, to be two more books in the Carlo Parigia Collectibles Mystery series: The Normandy Encyptions in which Carlo is swept into the world of high end Art Deco collectors and dealers when he is tasked with finding a history shattering message hidden in the famed glass artworks in the ship’s Grand Salon. This is to be followed by A Flea Bitten Corpse in which Carlo, attending a large outdoor market, finds a dead body in a rather shabby, large Art Modern cupboard.
Born and raised in New York, Mr. Franchi lives in Los Angeles, where he poisons palm trees, pines for New York and spends an inordinate amount of time online odering from Zabar’s.
Rudy Franchi was born and raised in New York and entered the film business as a teenager. In college (Fordham) he started a film society and then became co-program director of the The Bleecker Street Cinema (referred to by Francois Truffaut as “America’s Cinematheque.) He was a publicist (at 20th Century Fox), distributed foreign films and was active as a film critic, mainly via the NY Film Bulletin, a small magazine that he published and edited. It was via NYFB that the French auteur theory was introduced to the U.S. through the writings of Andrew Sarris, interviews with Francois Truffaut and other New Wave directors and translations from Cahiers du Cinema.
In the late 60’s he married Barbara, acquiring two step daughters. The entire troupe moved to Montreal where Rudy and Barbara started The Nostalgia Factory. After 10 years, they all moved back to the States (to Newport, R.I.for another 10 years ) and then spent 17 years in Boston,the last 5 of which were on the internet, running nostalgia.com, the largest site on the www selling original movie posters.
In 1997 Rudy joined the first season of Antiques Roadshow and through the 2011 season, when he retired from the show, he held down the same corner of the collectibles table, doing thousands of appraisals, many of them on air. all the while gathering material for a book he wanted to write one day.
He now lives in Los Angeles in close proximity to his three daughters.