Author Michael Murphy / Reviewed by Felita Daniels / 261 Pages
You know how it is when you have the perfect cup? The aroma is great, the perfect balance in taste, it’s hot enough to warm your soul, but not too hot to burn your tongue and the mug fits perfectly in your hands. All the senses are engaged and you forget the world around you. That is this book to a mystery reader- it has the impeccable balance.
The setting and characters in this book were just fabulous. Picture the 1930’s in Los Angeles where you are bumping into the likes of William Powell and Carole Lombard. Folks are talking about Dashiell Hammett and who will get the role in The Thin Man. The pace was just right. The author smartly gave you the foundation information you would need for the era but put you into the action and pickle quickly without pages and pages of set up information. This is the second book with these characters, but can be read and enjoyed just fine if you haven’t had a chance to read The Yankee Club.
The chemistry between Jake and Laura is there. They are both smart and at the same time vulnerable in certain areas. Jake is a mystery writer and a former Pinkerton agent. This adds to the believability of having the skills to investigate. The idea that there would be greed, politics, gossip and romantic entanglements in the movie making business was perfectly understandable. All the ingredients for a murder are before the reader.
I think younger readers unfamiliar with actors and actresses of that time might miss a few of the references. Someone old enough to have seen a few of these black and white movies with fantastic gowns and charming ladies, gentlemen and/or scoundrels will smile a little from pleasant memories. I really enjoyed this one.