Forge Books, Hardcover, 9780765315762, 272pp.
Publication Date: December 8, 2009
The second wacky comedic murder romp for Hollywood film detective Valentino
Valentino wants to keep The Oracle, his beloved run-down movie palace, from being condemned before it even reopens, but murder keeps intruding into his otherwise quiet life. At a gala party held in memory of screen legend Greta Garbo, he’s having fun until the host, a hotshot developer named Matthew 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 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’s dead body on the floor.
Valentino’s in a quandary. He’d love to see that letter, but he can’t. He’s gotten his girlfriend—who works for the police—in trouble, so his love life is, pardon the expression, shot to hell. Worse yet, the building inspector has kicked him out of his unfinished living space in the Oracle, so he takes his life in his hands and moves in with his eccentric mentor, the elderly, insomniac Professor Broadhead. No love, no sleep, no letter—life isn’t fair!
"Shamus-winner Estleman's captivating second mystery to feature L.A. film detective Valentino...Readers will eargly turn the pages."—Publishers Weekly, starred review Praise for the first Valentino mystery, Frames:
“Estleman has laid claim to a fresh new franchise and the turf is all his. My hat’s off to him.” —Sue Grafton, New York Times bestselling author
“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, New York Times bestselling author
“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. If you love movies, you’ll love this mystery.” —Lawrence Kasdan, Academy Award–nominated Director and Screenwriter of The Big Chill