I really, really want to like these books (this one along with "I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason", "Not a Girl Detective"). I think the premise is terrific -- modern writer in LA obsessed with all the old classics (as well as old classic clothes). I think the books are succesful, in varying degrees, in bringing some of the period settings alive, but I'd like to see more. I'm a huge fan of Perry, Nancy Drew and Dashiel Hammett, but they don't always come through as I'd like them to (don't worry, I know that two of these people are fictional, but if you are a fan perhaps you'll know what I mean!). When reading this latest book I kept having to flip back to clarify something about some obscure character or a more major character who wasn't defined very clearly. Unlike Perry and Nancy, the detective star of this book, Cece, doesn't wrap things up very tightly, strings are left hanging. And I'm pretty sure that Sam Spade (Hammett's hard-boiled detective in The Maltese Falcon) would have been disappointed. However, I can't say that there aren't a lot of fun scenes thrown in, with the info about Dashiell Hammet's life and the heroine's musings about clothing choices. So, I'm sure I'll read the next Cece Caruso book (Christietown) and hope for the best. Like the spunky Nancy Drew, and indeed the spunky Cece Caruso, I have a hard time giving up on a case.
Was not real crazy about the story but I probably should have started from the beginning of this series too - to be fair. Another book written in L.A. but the writer knows the town and how hard it is to get anywhere and what crazy shops there are there too. I will have to see if there is a book (or books) written before this one before casting my final vote (so I have some sense of the heroine).
I LOVE Susan Kandel's Cece Caruso mysteries. The plot always ends up taking a thousand twists and turns so you never see what's coming, but at the end it always makes sense and ties up beautifully. I also love the descriptions of California, Cece's vintage clothing, food and the mystery writers she writes about. In this book (the third in the series) a film titled Dash! is being filmed, based on Cece's biography of mystery writer Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man.) Cece's been hired to educate the actor on portraying him, but it doesn't take long before a mysterious death pulls her in many different directions. This has become one of my favorite mystery series, and I highly recommend it!
Los Angles writer Cece Caruso is thrilled that her biography of the legendary Dashiell Hammett is headed for the big screen. Rafe Simic, the actor cast as the lead, may not be the sharpest knige in the drawer, but the money she'll make tutoring him in the ABC's of The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man should be good enough to feed Cece addiction of vibtage Yves St. Laurent.
But when the dead body of one of Rafe's old flames is discovered--and neither the "facts" nor the hunky star's alibi add up--Cece can't help but ask questions. However, the twists in this case would confound Sam Spade Himself. And in her zeal to win justice for the deceased, Cece might end up pulling the plug on the movie--if someone doesn't pull the plug on Cece First
I thought this was an interesting addition to the series. The book gave a lot of information author Dasheill Hammett. I would recommend it.
Great series - love the main characters.
Los Angeles writer Cece Caruso is thrilled that her biography of the legendary Dashiell Hammett is headed for the big screen. Even better, she's been hired to tutor Rafe Simic, the actor cast as the lead. Okay, so he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. At least he's easy on the eyes, and the money's good enough to feed Cece's addiction to vintage Yves St. Laurent.
But in the midst of her teaching him the ABCs of The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, the body of a woman is discovered and Rafe's picture is found among her effects. The woman was an old flame, and the facts -- and Rafe's alibi -- just don't add up. Cece, who makes her living getting into the minds of mystery writers, can't help but ask questions.
In a tale of thrills, suspense, and surprising twists that would confound even the best P.I., Cece sets out to find justice for the dead woman, even if it means pulling the plug on the movie -- assuming someone doesn't pull the plug on Cece first.