Chester Slattery
Created by J. Madison Davis

Breaking the nose of a movie star in the middle of filming for a big budget film, no matter that the guy more than deserved it, cost CHESTER SLATTERY his job with LAPD homicide. Chess figures that working as a security guard is about as low as he can sink, so when Alfred Hitchcock offers him a chance to play Archie Goodwin to Hitchcock's Nero Wolfe he jumps at it. Hitchcock, busy filming the movie Vertigo, wants Chess to help him investigate the brutal murder of Baby Lowen, an Iowa farm girl who ran away to Hollywood to be a movie star. Chess soon learns that there are pitfalls to working on his own - such as having no backup in dangerous situations and working for an employer whose motives are somewhat mysterious - but it beats sitting in a warehouse reading newspapers all night.

This was a fun read. The plot won't stand up to any serious examination and the killer should have been obvious to any halfway competent homicide detective, but Davis does a reasonably good job with the atmosphere of 1957 Hollywood and Chess is a likable character, if a little slow on the uptake. It's similar to Stuart Kaminsky's Toby Peters stories, though less humorous and a little darker in tone, and not quite of the same calibre. There's no clear indication as to whether or not this is intended to be a series (though the ending implies that it is), but I wouldn't hesitate to read a sequel if there is one.

NOVELS

Review respectfully submitted by Shauna Scott, of MysInDepth, where this review originally appeared.


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