At a gala party held in memory of screen legend Greta Garbo, Hollywood film detective Valentino is having fun until the host, a hotshot developer named Rankin, tells Valentino about a certain letter from Garbo to his late wife. She and Garbo had been…close. Such a letter is of great interest to a film archivist like Valentino, but the plot thickens when Rankin tells Val that his assistant, Akers, is using this letter to blackmail him. Val is appalled by the thought of blackmail, but that letter sounds juicier all the time. Returning to Rankin's mansion after the party, Val finds Rankin sitting at his desk with a pistol in his hand, looking at Akers' dead body on the floor. It appears that letter from Garbo is the kiss of death . . .but what else is going on?
©2009 Loren D. Estlemen (P)2010 AudioGo
RPG, history and movie fan
I will definitely listen again. The story is well-written, with great dialogue. Added to the terrific story is William Dufris reading it so very well. I loved the little snippets of movie history. When he buys the old movie palace I wanted to jump in the car and go visit.
If you love stories of old actors and directors and how some people are trying so very hard to find and preserve films before they are lost forever, you will not want to miss this book.
Well, I compare it to Frames, which is the second offering by the author, with the same characters. I immediately bought it when I finished this one. You can read my review of that one, but it's pretty much the same.
There are so many. I think any scene with him speaking with his curmudgeonly mentor/co-worker are all golden.
Film Detective in Love.
In February a friend gave me a gift subscription to Audible. I was polite and thanked her but I didn't think I'd find anything to replace reading books myself. I was SO surprised to find how addictive listening to good books can be. I have now signed up, because as long as William Dufris, Derek Jacobi and Simon Vance keep reading books, I will keep buying them and listening to them.
Begin with Frames, the first book in Estleman's Valentino series before enjoying its follow-up, Alone. Frames introduces a lovable cast of academic misfits: Valentino a hapless 30-something film archivist; Kyle, his gruff, gone-to-seed mentor; Fanta, a nubile law student; and Harriet, a sharp-witted forensic analyst (all hilariously voiced by master narrator William Dufris). Once you’ve heard this motley crew solve one movie-based mystery, you’ll welcome their encore performance in Alone.
In his Valentino series, Estleman folds true stories from Hollywood’s Golden Age into cozy fictions set in contemporary Los Angeles. In Frames, the historical core is director Erich von Stroheim and his lost film Greed; in Alone, it is the elusive Greta Garbo and her mysterious personal life.
Alone is a perfect listen for those who like their mysteries cozy and their films pre-Technicolor.
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