A Valentino Mystery
By Loren D. Estleman
(Forge Books, Hardcover, 9780765315755, 272pp.)
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
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Enter Valentino, a mild-mannered UCLA film archivist. In the surreal world of Hollywood filmdom truth is often stranger than celluloid fiction. When Valentino buys a decrepit movie palace and uncovers a skeleton in the secret Prohibition basement, he's not really surprised. But he's staggered by a second discovery: long-lost, priceless, reels of film: Erich von Stroheim’s infamous Greed.
The LAPD wants to take the reels as evidence, jeopardizing the precious old film. If Valentino wants to save his find, he has only one choice: solve the murder within 72 hours with the help of his mentor, the noted film scholar Broadhead, and Fanta, a feisty if slightly flaky young law student.
Between a budding romance with a beautiful forensics investigator and visions of Von Stroheim’s ghost, Valentino’s madcap race to save the flick is as fast and frenetic as a classic screwball comedy. A quirky cast of characters, smart dialogue and a touch of romance make this Estleman's most engaging and accessible novel to date.
Loren D. Estleman is the author of more than sixty novels. He has earned four Shamus Awards, five Golden Spur Awards, and three Western Heritage Awards. He lives in central Michigan with his wife, author Deborah Morgan.
"Frames is gripping entertainment. If you were watching it in a movie theater—a place for which Estleman has a palpable affection—you'd look down in shock to find you'd unconsciously consumed your entire (large size) popcorn.” —Lawrence Kasdan, Academy Award-nominated Director and Screenwriter
“Estleman has laid claim to a fresh new franchise. It’s a pleasure to see the care and cunning he’s invested in this book. My hat’s off to him.” —Sue Grafton, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Loren Estleman marvelously mixes movies and mayhem in a way sure to please film buffs and mystery fans alike. Frames is another winner from a master.” —John Jakes, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Set in modern Hollywood, Frames should appeal equally to Loren's many hard-core noir fans as well as to new readers looking for great entertainment, accessible and sympathetic characters, and, of course, a cracking good mystery. Estleman is a national treasure, and Frames just may be the vehicle that finally gets the word out to the mainstream." —John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author
“From screening rooms to board rooms, exploding celluloid to fire-eating cops, this marvelous tale delivers the ride of a lifetime.” —Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Spymaster
“Mystery, movies, and a sleuth named Valentino—crime doesn't get much better than this. Estleman's one of the best in the business—and this series nails his name on the marquee in bright lights.” —Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author of the Alex Cooper mysteries
“Break out the popcorn! Mystery fans and old-movie fanatics will love Frames. A delightful double feature of vintage Hollywood murder and hilarious present-day shenanigans. The snappy dialogue alone is worth the price of admission.” —Deborah Donnelly, author of The Wedding Planner Mysteries