Fun interplay between Karloff, Rathbone and Lugosi make this a must read
Customer: Stephen Kopian
Glen Head, NY US
-- September, 1, 2007
Late one night during the filming of Son of Frankenstein Boris Karloff is called back to the set for a couple of quick pick up shots after the main days shooting has been done. Wandering back on the set he finds the body of a studio executive being filled with thousands of volts of electricity. Before he can go for help a security guard finds him and he's suddenly in the middle of a murder case...a case which no one wants to deal with and which the studio tries very hard to make go away. Turning to Basil Rathbone, ex Military Intelligence and with the additional help of Bela Lugosi Boris sets out to find out who the murderer is and what really happened.
Filled with real people and a sense of the murder mysteries of the period this is a great read, especially if you know and love the stars and films of the 1930's. The dialog is often very funny and I would love to see this turned into a movie (preferably with the stars playing themselves-hey I can dream). Its the dialog and the interplay of Karloff, Rathbone and Lugosi thats the draw here and the real reason to read this. The mystery is full of old Hollywood studio fun and games as celebrity opens doors to the trio of detectives while the studio fixers try desperately to keep a lid on what they are turning up. For most of the book the mystery is mysterious and the the comings and goings of various famous faces make this a great read. Unfortunately the book jumps the tracks in the last quarter as the book has to stop several times for a character to explain what was going on. I don't know if this was the result of poor plotting on the part of author Kemper (who has a great number of balls in the air at that point) or some other reason (editorial?), but it takes the steam out of the final push to the end. This shouldn't be read that it makes the book any less fun to read, it doesn't, rather it simply keeps what could have been a great book simply a good one. Frankly on the basis of the dialog alone this gets a must read recommendation, even if the mystery wobbles in the end.