ShootBook - 2016
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Valentino is a passionate film archivist at UCLA who works to preserve Hollywood history and also moonlights as a film detective – he tracks down rare prints of classic films and solves related crimes. In this fourth installment in the series, the film sleuth is approached by western film and television star Red Montana to find out who is blackmailing the elderly cowboy over a blue film his wife made early in her film career. Red is desperate to protect his wife’s wholesome reputation as the Sweetheart of the Range as she is now on her deathbed.
Red offers Valentino the chance to find out who is blackmailing him in return for the only copy of a priceless film in Red’s extensive collection. If Valentino denies the offer, Red will destroy the rare movie. Feeling blackmailed himself, our film archivist must track down the blackmailer before the film goes up in smoke.
This amateur detective story set in Los Angeles uses Hollywood history as its backdrop. While Valentino is a man you can quickly understand, he isn’t your typical hardboiled detective. His spare time is spent working to restore an old cinema and trading film facts with his mentor and head of the film preservation department at UCLA.
Film buffs will enjoy the numerous references to classic films, actors, and Hollywood intrigue. Fans of the western genre will appreciate the focus on film history of the Wild West. Readers will value the fact that even though this is the fourth book in the series, the author quickly brings them up to date on important background plot points. The story moves along at a quick pace and keeps a light and fun tone throughout. As an added bonus, the author has included an extensive list of essential western film books, film documentaries, and classic western films.
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