Come to Dust

Greg Matthews, Author
Greg Matthews, Author Walker & Company $23.95 (318p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3317-7
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This adventure is notable more for its atmospheric authenticity than its puzzle. It's 1944 in Hollywood, and three years have passed since screenwriter and novelist Keith Moody was introduced in Far from Heaven. While his wife is away for the reading of her uncle's will, Moody meets a man reading his book--a rare event in the not-too-successful scribe's life--but when he strikes up a conversation, the fan pulls a gun and asks for his wallet instead of his signature. Moody saves his cash, but further efforts to elude the wacky reader draw him into the grisly murder of the current tenant at his former home. Moody's fortunes seem to turn when he is rehired at Empire Productions to write a script for English heartthrob Nigel Lawson. Another turn of the wheel, however, sets Nazi agents, FBI men, the local cops and some weird nursing-home operators in apparent pursuit of Moody and his wife. It's all plenty convoluted, but Matthews keeps the trip enjoyable with the 1940s ambiance, the beleaguered Moody family and a final odd caper that involves smuggling a coffin into Mexico. (July)
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