Paramount Kill

Gaylord Larsen, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (211p) ISBN 978-0-525-24592-6
Mystery writer Raymond Chandler, creator of private investigator Philip Marlowe, finds himself heading his own one-man investigation in this wry comic-mystery set in 1945 Hollywood. Chandler is laboring over the script for the movie The Blue Dahlia, and chronically at odds with co-worker Billy Wilder, when he succumbs to the suggestion of gag writer Corky McGrath and plays a macabre practical joke on Wilder. Events turn serious when Chandler discovers McGrath's body with a bullet hole neatly drilled through the middle of his forehead. He decides to investigate the killing on his own, always asking himself ""What would Philip Marlowe do now?'' before he makes his next move. Chandler is a middle-aged alcoholic, unsteady and apprehensive, yet he follows clue after clue to eventually discover land fraud led by a group of businessmen and politicians who wish to build a sports stadium on property owned by impoverished Mexicans. A steady stream of legendary film personalities weaves in and out of the plot, adding their own misguidance and spicing the narrative with colorful period detail. The author of An Educated Death has created a loose and casual story, pleasantly untaxing, yet one with a thoroughly unexpected conclusion. (January 29)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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