Loren D. Estleman

Loren D. Estleman ‘s series with Valentino, amateur detective and film archivist is loaded with Hollywood history and as a result is great reading on a number of levels. The latest, ALIVE! (Forge) has film buffs going a bit crazy as footage of Bela Lugosi screen testing for the Frankenstein monster has all sorts of people trying to get their hands on it. A friend of Valentino wants to sell it to him but is killed before the transaction takes place. As things start to get out of hand and more dangerous Valentino brings in his intern Jason who along with his steampunk friends undertake helping out as a big adventure.

Estleman’s love of golden age Hollywood shows throughout the book as it is filled with wonderful tidbits and facts from that era. In Valentino he has yet another character who is old school and a pure joy to read. Jason is a perfect sidekick and comic relief. I loved this as much for the mystery as I did all the film references. Estleman has never written a bad book in my opinion, but this one really grabbed me and I found myself flipping pages faster and faster, grinning the whole time like a kid who got everything he wanted for his birthday.

And coming in June from Forge: THE CONFESSIONS OF AL CAPONE, Can’t wait!

Jon Jordan