Mystery Books for Sale

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by Zac Bissonnette
Crooked Lane, August 2022
320 pages
ISBN: 1639100865

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

This debut novel features Jay Allan and Cindy Cooper, former soap opera stars who were once married. When Jay and Cindy came to the realization that they were both gay, the marriage—and, subsequently, their careers—came to an end. But the friendship remained strong and the two are now owners of Hooray for Hollywood, a newly opened movie memorabilia store in Palm Springs. Business is slow, but the pair get the chance to handle a valuable collection—90-year-old Yana Tosh, an actress from the 1950s and '60s, wants to sell a treasure trove of costumes and props that she has collected over the years.

One problem: A big-name auction company is trying to persuade Yana to use them instead. Further problem: Dylan Redman, a vice president at the auction house, is murdered after meeting with Yana. And more complications: The investigating homicide detective is eyeing Jay and Cindy as potential suspects. Can they clear their names, solve the mystery, and get Yana to give them the consignment?

The story is sprinkled with interesting anecdotes about the stars of yesteryear—Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Temple, for instance—and tidbits about the sometimes-cutthroat memorabilia business. But it's the humor and warmth between the characters that makes this a delightful read. Hooray for Hollywood—and for this novel!

§ Lourdes Venard is an independent editor who divides her time between New York and the West Coast.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, May 2022

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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