Monday, December 29, 2014

Murder in Hollywood(land)

ALL THAT GLITTERS (Jake and Laura #2)
Michael Murphy
Random House Alibi
Jan. 6, 2015

All That Glitters picks up immediately after the end of The Yankee Club. Jake Donovan, successful mystery author and former Pinkerton Agent, and long-time girlfriend, Laura Wilson, are leaving Grand Central Station for a cross-country journey to Hollywood. Laura, a successful Broadway actress, has been hired to co-star in a comedy produced by Carville Studios. Laura is hoping for a new career and Jake is hoping to close the deal on a whole new life by finally becoming engaged. They both agree that Jake should keep a low profile since they are neither engaged or married. That plan very quickly goes awry when the head of the studio's son is murdered and Jake becomes the prime suspect. Jake has to take off his author hat and use his investigative skills to prove his innocence before all their plans are ruined, perhaps forever.

I have always been fascinated by the Depression years and am particularly fond of the Hollywood screwball comedies of the era. Hollywood performed a great service during the Depression and later in WWII by diverting people from their fears and worries. All That Glitters features a cast instantly recognizable to movie fans of that era; the tough studio head, the blonde bombshell, the former child star with a floundering career, a female detective who is carrying a torch for Jake from years before and her not-too-smart partner. Real Hollywood figures also make an appearance; Jack Benny, William Powell and Louella Parsons figure prominently in the story. Jake and Laura make a great team much in the Nick and Nora Charles tradition, with less alcohol and more squabbling.

All That Glitters is a fun read throughout with great characters and a colorfully rendered atmosphere. I enjoyed The Yankee Club and thought All That Glitters was even better. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Thanks to Random House Alibi and netgalley for an advance digital copy.

RATING- 4.5 Stars