cover image Shoot: A Valentino Mystery

Shoot: A Valentino Mystery

Loren D. Estleman. Forge, $25.99 (240p) ISBN 978-07653-8045-6

Estleman’s fun fourth Valentino mystery (after 2013’s Alive!) finds the UCLA film scholar on the trail of a lost western, Sixgun Sonata, starring the married actors Red Montana and Dixie Day. Southern California’s Red Montana and Dixie Day Museum is closing, and Valentino receives an invitation to a farewell gala at the museum—a perfect opportunity to meet with Montana and plead for the sole surviving copy of the legendary feature film, rumored to be in Montana’s possession. Montana actually screens a portion of Sixgun Sonata and agrees to let Valentino have it—but only if Valentino will track down and recover the suppressed porno film that Dixie made before she teamed with Montana and started her career as a squeaky-clean cowgirl. And where is Dixie now? At her home, dying of cancer. Film buffs will revel in Estleman’s countless references to Hollywood’s greats and not-so-greats. Others may feel overwhelmed by his encyclopedic knowledge. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Feb.)