Show Biz/Celebrities

Unless otherwise noted, summaries on this page are quoted from

Cannell, Stephen J. Hollywood Tough, 2003.
Shane Scully series, #3.

Back on the LAPD and hailed as a hero after taking down a deadly gang of rogue cops in The Viking Funeral, Shane Scully finds himself unwittingly involved in a criminal scheme to take over the movie business. Soon he will have to go deep undercover to take down a Hollywood conspiracy. At a glamorous party with his new wife, Alexandra, Shane hears a world-famous producer make an ominous remark about the strange deaths of his ex-wives. This is more than police business, it’s personal: Alexandra’s closest friend is engaged to the producer. When he looks closer, Scully discovers that the man’s mysterious past may hide deadly secrets. To uncover them, he must work alongside a former down-and-outer-turned-Hollywood impresario to infiltrate the movie business’ violent dark side, a world where deals are settled with handshakes but broken with the spilling of blood, and where the danger to Shane’s loved ones is all too real.

Carrell, Jennifer. Haunt Me Still, 2010.
Kate Stanley series, #2.

A legendary theatrical curse . . . A rune-engraved blade, a mysterious mirror, and an ancient cauldron . . . And a ritually murdered body laid out in the manner of ancient pagan burials.

Kate Stanley, Jennifer Lee Carrell’s dauntless Shakespearean scholarturned- director, made a memorable – and New York Times bestselling – debut in Interred with Their Bones. Having chased down her mentor’s killer (and recovering one of Shakespeare’s lost plays in the process), Kate’s fame as a director with an expertise in ‘occult Shakespeare’ catapults her – and Ben Pearl, her partner in crime-solving – into a new production of Macbeth, showcasing a fabled collection of objects relating both to the play and the historical Scottish king for whom it is named.

The Bard’s witch-haunted play is famously cursed, its reputation for malevolence so strong that many actors refuse to quote or even name the play aloud. And as rehearsals begin at the foot of Scotland’s Dunsinnan Hill, it doesn’t take long for the curse to stir. Strange references to the boy actor who first played Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s day – and died in the role – pop up. A trench atop Dunsinnan Hill is found filled with blood, and a severed human thumb turns up among the props. And Kate begins sleepwalking, waking early one morning alone atop the hill, her hands smeared with blood.

Kate has no memory of how she got there, but later that day a local woman is found dead on the hill in circumstances that suggest not just ritual murder but ancient pagan sacrifice. With the police more focused on Kate as a suspect than as a possible future victim, she and Ben find themselves in a desperate race to discover a lost version of Macbeth, said to contain rituals of witchcraft aimed at conjuring demonic forces to gain forbidden knowledge. However much Kate would like to dismiss such rituals as superstition, someone else appears willing to kill for them – and for the manuscript said to spell them out.

Marked for sacrifice, can Kate Stanley uncover the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Connelly, Michael. Lost Light, 2004
Harry Bosch series, #9.

At the end of CITY OF BONES Bosch quit the LAPD, but he’s back in a new role, one that will give him more freedom to pursue the cases that compel him. When he left the LAPD Bosch took a file with him the case of a film production assistant murdered four years earlier during a USD 2 million robbery on a movie set. The LAPD now operating under post 9/11 rules think the stolen money was used to finance a terrorist training camp. Thoughts of the original murder victim are lost in the federal zeal, and when it seems the killer will be set free to aid the feds’ terrorist hunt, Bosch quickly runs afoul of both his old colleagues and the FBI.

Crabtree, Elisabeth. Deadly Magic, 2014.
Grace Holliday series, #1.

A night of magic turns into a night of murder.

It’s Halloween night and the normally unhappy co-workers of the Straker Toy Company are eagerly looking forward to the celebration of their tyrannical boss’ fiftieth birthday. None more so than Grace Holliday. After all, it’s not every day she gets invited to the annual costumed bash at the Dragon’s Lair, the premier magic theater in Manhattan.

What promises as a night of magic and mystery, quickly turns into a night of mayhem and murder when the boss’ equally tyrannical wife dies on stage.

According to the police, it was an obvious suicide. Now it’s up to Grace to discover which one of her co-workers pulled off the trick of the year before she becomes the killer’s next victim.

Geagley, Brad. The Stand In, 2011

Mystery set in 1957 Hollywood. If you were a studio mogul what would you do if you discovered your leading man was a serial killer? How do you protect your film? How do you protect your studio? And … your leading lady? Louis Solomon, head of Centurion Studios, is deep in production on his very troubled wide-screen spectacular, “A Tale of Two Cities”.

The picture is not even half done and is hemorrhaging money. This is largely due to the temperamental antics of the picture’s leading man, Rick DeNova. Riddled with drugs, extremely volatile, Rick has been the cause of a five-week shutdown for beating his leading lady and one-time lover, Lola Chandler, half to death. While she recovers, Louis must find the money to complete the picture and keep the truth away from the press.

Unfortunately, this is precisely when Darren Cates, captain of the Ramparts Division of the LAPD, brings Louis the even more horrifying news that Rick is suspected in the strangulation murders of a series of blond starlets up in the Hollywood Hills. Luckily, Cates is being paid by Centurion to keep its stars out of trouble. But drugs and traffic violations are one thing – murder quite another. Louis must scramble to complete his picture, save his studio, and keep his leading lady alive.

Enter Eddie Baines, a small-town actor from Texas, hungry for fame. Unluckily for him, he bears a striking resemblance to Mr. DeNova, which has prevented him from getting any parts. Why should the studios hire an ersatz Rick when the real one is working down the street? Even Eddie’s distinctive horseshoe-shaped cufflinks do not bring him the luck he needs. But when Rick’s photo double goes missing, Eddie is hired to replace him. Seeing the uncanny resemblance between Rick and Eddie, Solomon hatches a diabolical plan – if anyone in the press discovers that Rick might be linked to the murders Eddie will be blamed. The young Texan is the perfect foil and the perfect fall guy. But in Hollywood, as ever, nothing is as it seems.

Halliday, Gemma. Hollywood Scandals (aka Scandal Sheet), 2009.
Hollywood Headlines series, #1.

Tina Bender is the gossip columnist at the infamous L.A. Informer tabloid. She knows everything about everyone who’s anyone. And she’s not afraid to print it. That is, until she receives a threatening note, promising, “If you don’t stop writing about me, you’re dead.” Teaming with a built bodyguard, a bubbly blonde, and an alcoholic obituary writer, Tina sets out to uncover just which juicy piece of Hollywood gossip is worth killing over.

Stashower, Daniel. The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man, 1985.
Harry Houdini Mystery series, #1.

When Harry Houdini is framed and jailed for espionage, Sherlock Holmes vows to clear his name, with the two joining forces to take on blackmailers who have targeted the Prince of Wales.

It’s a case that requires all of their skills – both mental and physical. Can the daring duo solve what people are calling ‘The Crime of the Century’ ?

McKevett, G.A. Killer Calories, 1997.
Savannah Reid series, #3.

The irresistible combination of murder and money brings sassy, savvy, full-figured P.I. Savannah Reid to a health spa to investigate the death of owner and former cult-flick actress Kat Valentina. The medical examiner called it an accidental mixture of booze and a hot tub, but Savannah’s anonymous client thinks otherwise. If the exercise and nasty spa cuisine doesn’t kill Savannah, there’s a murderer close by who might finish the job.
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