When I first heard about Design for Dying, the first in a mystery series set in the Golden Age of Hollywood, I was intrigued. It sounded great for movie buff and people interested in fashion, not to mention great period writing. But, as is the case so often, I didn’t write down the suggestion and sort of forgot about it. But at Bouchercon, when I was lucky enough to sit next to the writing team of Rosemarie and Vince Keenan, who make up the author, Renee Patrick, the book once again piqued my interest.
I confess I’m not a big old movie buff and, sadly, I thought Edith Head was a thing, like a bobble-head. But, wow, this book delighted me from start to finish. The mystery is clever, with lots of twists and turns. It’s a hoot to have Gracie Allen, Bob Hope, Barbara Stanwyck, and other famous people put in appearances. But what really drew me in was the total immersion into the time period with all the slag and popular opinions.
I loved Lillain, a feisty, smart and determined heroine. And I not only know who Edith Head is now, I am charmed by her, as well. This is a quick and fun read.
Here's the set-up. Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl . . . until she discovers she's a suspect in the murder of her former roommate, Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head.
Sneak a peek at Design for Dying