Brazen: A Valentino Mystery
Valentino’s life is all about film. Whether it’s his work as an archivist for UCLA or his passion for restoring an old movie house to its former glory in his off-time, the movies are part of the fabric of his life. Unfortunately, his investigations have brought him into contact with the police on a few occasions, and when he stumbles upon the body of his friend, fading starlet Beata Limerick, he finds himself the prime suspect. Can Valentino clear his name–and more importantly, will he uncover who killed his friend and staged her death to resemble that of Marilyn Monroe?
Brazen is the latest in Estleman’s film-fueled series of mysteries, and it’s easily the most accessible one for crime buffs. Although it’s just as steeped in movie trivia and history as the other Valentino novels, the Hollywood-blonde murder angle makes it feel like a more mainstream mystery.
Estleman puts the spotlight on the tragedies that have beset blondes in Hollywood over the decades, creating a backdrop of superstition that plays nicely with the shadow of Hollywood’s dark side. Brazen is a departure from the norm for Valentino fans but an interesting twist for new readers.
Loren D. Estleman