cover image The Silver Blonde

The Silver Blonde

Elizabeth Ross. Delacorte, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-385-74148-4

A heart-wrenchingly nostalgic vision of post-WWII Hollywood shimmers at the core of this uneven murder mystery from Ross (Belle Epoque). In a single busy day in 1946, 18-year-old Clara Berg is promoted to apprentice film editor at Silver Pacific Studios, discovers a murdered woman in the studio’s film archive vaults, and learns that her own parents—non-Jewish political refugees who fled Nazi Germany in 1938—are planning to return home and expect her to go, too. In the days that follow, Clara begins her own investigation of the murder with the help of her love interest, Jewish, French-Canadian Gil, a suave screenwriter with a complicated past. Clara’s dismissive attitude toward nearly all of the novel’s other female characters—her mother, her former boss, and the young women staffing the studio’s accounting department—strikes a sour note, and an abundance of red herrings and coincidences undercut the cinematic showbiz sparkle. Even so, the story spotlights an intriguing era of filmmaking with a behind-the-scenes peek at movie studio life that entertains. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Brenda Bowen, the Book Group. (July) [/em]