Books I am reading

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Film Noir Mystery set in Quebec

I received a review copy of this book through NetGalley in return for writing a review. This is my true and personal opinion.

 This is currently on sale for $3.99.

Pray for Us Sinners by Peter S Fischer, in #7 in the Hollywood Murder Mysteries. I had not read any of the earlier book, but had no difficulty in understanding the story. The Hollywood Murder Mysteries is for the late 40's and 50's What The Toby Peters Mysteries by Stuart Kaminsky was for the early 40's. Brushes with Hollywood stars, period pieces, with a film noir vibe.

The protagonist in the Hollywood Murder Mysteries is Joe Bernardi, a press publicist for Warner Brothers studios. In Pray For Us Sinners, he is in Quebec overseeing the publicity needs for the production of the movie, "I Confess" starring Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, and Karl Malden, and, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. While having dinner with the beautiful Jeanne d’Arcy with the Quebec Province Film Commission, assigned to assist Joe in his publicist work for the film. A gentleman the Joe does not know approaches the table, obviously drunk, and begins to argue then yell with Miss d'Arcy. The argument is in French and Joe does not speak French, but he gets the feeling that there is more to this relationship than Jeanne is sharing. The next morning, the gentleman is found dead and all the evidence points to Jeanne. Being the eager, caring guy that he is, Joe becomes embroiled in finding the real killer and clearing Jeanne of the charges.

There are behind the scenes info on the filming of the movie, the relationships of the stars with Hitch and with each other (Clift is a "method" actor and Hitch just wants the actors to follow his orders), the world of broad sheet publishing, the back scene production office, etc. Mr Fischer is very gifted in setting a mood, developing realistic interactions, and creating interesting, multi-layered characters. this is a fun, interesting read, and I intend to get started reading the entire series. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.