Book Review: “The Monet Murders” by Terry MortOctober 12, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
Tags: Book Review, Fiction, Thriller
From the back cover: Private-investigator-to-the-stars Riley Fitzhugh finds himself caught up in the case of a missing Hollywood beauty―and a stolen Monet―in a 1930s hardboiled caper as deadly as it is delightful.
Hollywood, 1934. Prohibition is finally over, but there is still plenty of crime for an ambitious young private eye to investigate. Though he has a slightly checkered past, Riley Fitzhugh is well connected in the film industry and is hired by a major producer―whose lovely girlfriend has disappeared. He also is hired to recover a stolen Monet, a crime that results in two murders initially, with more to come.
Along the way Riley investigates the gambling ships anchored off L.A., gets involved with the girlfriend of the gangster running one of the ships, and disposes of the body of a would-be actor who assaults Riley’s girlfriend. He also meets an elegant English art history professor from UCLA who helps Riley authenticate several paintings and determine which ones are forgeries.
Riley lives at the Garden of Allah Hotel, the favorite watering place of screenwriters, and he meets and unknowingly assists many of them with their plots. Incidentally one of these gents, whose nom de plume is ‘Hobey Baker,’ might actually be F. Scott Fitzgerald . . .
Evoking the classic hardboiled style, The Monet Murders is a charmingly cozy murder mystery by a novelist whose “lucid, beautifully written books are a pleasure to read.” (The Wall Street Journal)
I have not read such a clever use of the “hard-boiled private “I” in a really long time. Mr. Mort really knows the genre and how to use all the elements and still make it a fun read. Gambling ships, I did not know such things existed, 1934 Hollywood, murders and Monet are just some of the ingredients served up in this delightful smorgasbord. There are references to both real and fictional people all throughout the book, my favorite being that of Perry and Della, that will claim your attention. “The Monet Murders” grabs you with the storyline and keeps you flipping pages as fast as possible. This is a book with very interesting themes regarding evil and the evil inside us. Mr. Mort has given us a very interesting character in Riley and he makes us care for him all throughout the book. Don’t start this book late at night because you are going to want to finish it before you go to bed. A high-octane suspenseful thriller. I truly hope that Mr. Mort will give us more adventure with Private Investigator Riley Fitzhugh.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pegasus Books LLC. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”