Bullet for a Star by Stuart M. Kaminsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There is a certain pleasure, which I get, while reading fiction filled with original events and characters. This phenomenon was limited to my WW 2 or Cold War spy novels where actual historical figures were made to appear in the books, given dialogues, and scenes. Stuart Kaminsky’s “Bullet For A Star” his first novel to feature the 40’s era Hollywood based private detective Toby Peters, had the same theme, but with a different colour. Here instead of political figures, the men to feature where actual movie stars of that era. The main plot itself is based on the actor Erroll Flynn, while Humphrey Bogart, Jack Warner and at the very end Judy Garland makes cameo appearances.
The plot centres on Eroll Flynn. Someone is trying to blackmail him, as the studio agrees to pay the blackmailer, Peters is called upon by Warner Brothers to make the payment on their behalf. The whole scheme goes wrong as Peters is blindsided, and soon he finds his gun missing, him a murder suspect with dead bodies piling around him. As far as the plot goes there was nothing in it, which has not been written before. But, there was this added factor of the real actors which added a dose of extra pleasure while reading. There is a scene between Peters and Bogart which would go down as one of my the most favourite scene of all times.
I will certainly recommend this book to everyone. This is not only for crime readers. Stuart Kaminsky, kept his book short and made it interesting. In his part he created a plot centred on living figures, which never turned into a parody. This is by far one of the best P.I. books I have read in recent times.
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