Play a Cold Hand: A Scott Elliott Hollywood Mystery

Terence Faherty. Perfect Crime, $15 ISBN 978-1-935797-80-7
Set in 1974, Faherty’s workmanlike sixth Scott Elliott novel (after 2011’s Dance in the Dark) finds Elliott, an agent for Hollywood Security, looking into the fatal shooting of his mentor and former boss, Paddy Maguire. Elliott discovers that Paddy’s murder may have to do with a case with roots in the past that the retired investigator recently took on. Meanwhile, director Amos Decker wants to pick Elliott’s brains about a con run on a movie producer in 1952, which might be good background for a new movie to rival The Sting. In his search for the truth, Elliott must deal with his estranged wife, Ella, a screenwriter and publicist; police captain Walter Grove, an old enemy; and Guy De Felice, a sleazy private inquiry agent. Faherty peppers his narrative with glamorous Hollywood names and glimpses of Elliott working for Maguire back in the 1950s. This throwback mystery lacks originality, but it does nicely evoke the Hollywood of another era. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/09/2017
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