Gun Play: An Elton Dancey Mystery

R. B. Phillips, Author Foul Play Press $15.95 (222p) ISBN 978-0-88150-084-4
This first mystery, set in Los Angeles, successfully wrestles with the ghost of Raymond Chandler, providing its own fresh vision of America's most famous venue for private eyes. Hero Elton Dancey, an out-of-work actor, occasionally works as a detective to pay his billsmostly alimony and child support. Involved with a beautiful 20-year-old woman who was the subject of some ""indiscreet'' pictures, Dancey quickly discovers that her dilemma is far more complicated than he was originally led to believe. The detective, an interesting, funny character unafraid of comparisons (in one scene he wonders what Bogart would have done), delves into the seamy side of L.A., which hasn't been this confidently explored since The Day of the Locust. Phillips's clear, sharp prose is a pleasure to read, and if the book's climax is somewhat unbelievable, there's enough excitement here to make any reader clamor for more. (May 29)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
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