Mayor of Hollywood by MB Brophy – Those of you who follow my blog know that I am a diehard mystery reader. What you might not know is that I adore mysteries set in Hollywood, and if they include real celebrities, more the better. I devoured the old Hollywood novels by George Baxt years ago and frequently look for novels in this vein. Mayor of Hollywood certainly fills the bill and definitely does not disappoint.
Right away, we meet Lucy Cassidy, former child star turned university history professor specializing in the history of Hollywood. Brophy starts the action early on when Lucy makes a shocking discovery in her basement following a “coming out” party signaling her return to acting. Even while dealing with an apparent stalker, Lucy is called upon by her boyfriend, a hunky police detective, to consult on a murder case where the victims were staged to echo an old Hollywood murder case. As they dig deeper and deeper into the contemporary murder, Lucy is horrified to discover evidence pointing to old friends from her teenage acting days, and is forced to confront some of her own demons as more is revealed about one of the murder victims, a successful talent agent.
Brophy takes us on a wild ride through the underbelly of teenage Hollywood, the reality of celebrity stalkers, faded child stars, and creepy, predatory agents. The plot is decent and the action well-paced. I can’t say I didn’t finger the murderer about halfway through, but the story was fun enough to keep me reading. The climax was a bit unexpected but satisfying, and certainly tied up all the loose ends. I look forward to more form this author.
Recommended for light, fun summer reading.