Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Death Was in the Picture

Linda L. Richards' second Kitty Pangborn crime novel, Death Was in the Picture, is a vivid portrayal of Depression era Los Angeles, with the contrast between Hollywood, and the ordinary people. Kitty, an innocent, but tough, young woman, provides a fascinating view of the times.

Kitty Pangborn is secretary to Dex Theroux, a hard-drinking, womanizing detective, typical of the times. Dex agrees to watch Laird Wyndham, a movie star, and even attends a party in order to do the job. But, things are not what they seem, and Laird is arrested for murder, with Dex as a witness that he saw Wyndham go into the room in which a starlet died.

Neither Dex nor Kitty are willing to accept Laird's guilt, and they agree to take his case, and find the actual killer. Dex needs Kitty to act as his date at The Masquers Club, and portray an extra on a movie lot. Suddenly, Kitty is deeply involved in a murder investigation.

Kitty's innocence is a perfect vehicle for describing 1931 Hollywood, and the contrast between the movie world, and ordinary people. While Kitty struggles to find a nickel to go to the movies, those involved in the movie industry are living the high life, with parties, drink, and food beyond Kitty's wildest dreams. Kitty leads the life that readers expect during the Depression, living in her own home turned into a boarding house, and celebrating when there's seafood for dinner. She's desperate to keep her job at a time when Okies are flooding into California, in search of work.

However, the world of the studio system is dirtier than Kitty knows. And, it's easy to get on the wrong side of the studios and the press, and forces more powerful than she can imagine. It will take a great deal of digging for Kitty and Dex to find the truth about the murder of a starlet.

Death Was in the Picture is a successful sequel to Richards' Death Was the Other Woman. Richards, and Kitty, bring 1931 Hollywood to life.

Linda L. Richards' website is www.lindalrichards.com

Death Was in the Picture by Linda L. Richards. St. Martin's Minotaur, ©2009. ISBN 9780312383398 (hardcover), 288p.

10 comments:

caryn said...

I loved Death Was the Other Woman and now have Death Was in the Picture out from the library. I haven't started it yet though.
Caryn

Lesa said...

Thanks, Caryn. And, I just donated my copies of both titles to the library since we didn't have either of them. (sigh)

Iasa said...

Great, I will add this to my reading list. I too enjoyed the first book.

Lesa said...

That's terrific, Lasa. I'm glad Linda L. Richards' books have some fans here.

Linda L. Richards said...

Wow thanks, guys! You have some fans here. Thanks so much for your support. It's appreciated.

Amy said...

This looks like another good one! THanks Lesa, you really bring my attention to a lot of books I would have otherwise missed.

Kay said...

I've got both these books here in my stacks. Hope to get to both of them this year.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Linda. I'm glad I had the chance to read and review the book. Thanks for dropping by!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Amy. Now these are books you shouldn't have any trouble finding!

Lesa said...

Ah, the infinite TBR pile. Do I understand that, Kay!