Created by Loren Estleman
If you dug the late Stuart Kaminsky's movie trivia-packed Toby Peters series, boy, do we have a treat for you!
Private eye writer and film buff Loren Estleman's latest series, originally exclusive to EQMM, irelates the adventures and misadventures of film detective VALENTINO, who works an archivist for UCLA's Film Preservation Department.
His job? Track down rare (and therefore valuable) films.
It's an amusing and fresh spin on the amateur sleuth, whose day job actually does involve quite a bit of detective work. There's even a wise-cracking battleship of a secretary at the university to give Valentino a certain amount of grief. And I love the idea of him living at The Oracle, an abandoned movie theatre he'd bought, rather than see it razed.
Plus, Estleman knows how to inject just enough grit and guts into the story to wash away that cozy taste. Hell, this is the man who gave us Amos Walker, after all.
Okay, so occasionally the tongue-in-cheek spirit of the whole thing is sandbagged by one too many intrusions of film trivia, although A-type film buffs will no doubt lap it up.
And Estleman himself is an A-type film buff, so at least Valentino comes by his obsessions honestly.
Not that he spends all his time in darkened theatres, mind you. Estleman's considered by many to be one of the best contemporary private eye writers around, best known for his series about the defiantly anachronistic Motor City gumshoe Walker, and he's been nominated and won several Shamuses over the years. In fact, he's probably the most Shamus-nominated writer of them all. He's also responsible for the adventures of sleazeball P.I. Ralph Poteet, as well as a series that traces Detroit crime from the thirties to the present. And Estleman also writes westerns and has won the Western Writers of America's Spur Award a couple of times.
Deborah Donnelly, author of The Wedding Planner Mysteries
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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