Friday, July 26, 2013

City of Mirrors-Melodie Johnson Howe

City of Mirrors

Melodie Johnson Howe

Pegasus, Aug 1 2013, $25.95

ISBN 9781605984681

Last week Widow Diana Poole buried her beloved mom, the famous actress Nora Poole; last year she buried her husband writer Colin Hudson. Facing bankruptcy and fortyish, Diana is fortunate her friend Celia Dario’s lover Robert Zaitlin has given her a small but important role as the mother to star Jenny Parson in a move he currently produces on The Lot that was once Warner Bros and once Samuel Goldwyn. However, Zaitlin warns Diana that her part is in peril because Parson cannot remember her lines; frustrating everyone including co-star Jake Jackson who wants the amateur replaced, which most likely means a different actress as the mom.

Diana agrees to have dinner with Jenny. After picking up her mom’s ashes, Diana goes to dine with Jenny only to find her body in a trash bag about to be taken away by a garbage truck. While Zaitlin insists on saving the movie even more so than Diana, she investigates the homicide seeking to keep the checks coming; only to find nasty truths that nuke the images of family and friends; only adversarial Heath the Fixer has her back even if they differ on the outcomes.

This delightful Diana Poole investigative mystery (see Shooting Hollywood: The Diana Poole Stories) is an exciting whodunit as the heroine (and readers) peel away the glittery façade to reveal some despicable realities. Fast-paced with some over the Hollywood sign action, readers will enjoy this engaging tale as Melodie Johnson Howe provides a vivid look at behind the scenes through the protagonist’s amateur sleuthing.

Harriet Klausner

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