Murder on Sunset Boulevard by Rochelle Krich, Michael Mallory, and Lisa Seidman, editors
This review is by Molly
The book of 221 pages is a collection of writings produced by some of the foremost writers today. Included the reader will find “Closing Time” by Dana Kouba, “Beaudry Rose” by Gayle McGary and “The Red Car Murders” in which Richard Partlow’s tale set in 1946 keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The tale is told in the first person by a seventh grade grade newspaper salesman who finds a silver gun on the streetcar. Before long Mark faces a desperate killer, a woman cop who is not allowed to carry a gun and ‘A Special Agent.’
“Extreme Prejudice” by Dale Furutani, “Three Killings and a Favor” by Joan Waites and “Two Mules for Sister Sarita” by Kate Thornton are a nice change of pace. “Neither Tarnished Nor Afraid” by Gay Toltl Kinman is another tale told in the first person and is set in 1942 during WWII. Police office Agnes Graham is a big gal who realizes that were it not for the war she would not have gotten the chance to join the police force. “An Open and Shut Case” by Mae Woods, “Love on Sunset Boulevard” by Linda O. Johnston and “LA Late @ Night” by Paul D. Marks add to the reading enjoyment. The work is completed with “Leap of Faith” by Anne Riffenburgh again told in the first person, but in more modern times combines intrigue, murder and a whole batch of interesting characters. The last tale in the collection written by Gabriella Diamond is “Black and Red and Dead All Over”.
Each of the various authors presents a matchless narrative from their unrivaled perspective and written in their own unique style. Because this is a collection of tales there is something for everyone. As a Californian I know Sunset Boulevard is a place dear to the mystique of the state. This dozen clever yarn spinners speed the reader along the often squalid ride across Los Angeles with enthralling tales filled with machination, retaliation, apprehension and deficiency. Gay Toltl Kinman with a Philip Marlowe restate of Hollywood will be of particular interest to those who miss the old time tales.
Characters are credible, Sunset Boulevard comes alive under the fertile pen and imagination of these master storytellers. The sights, scents and people found then and now along this most famous of streets in America are presented in gritty detail. From the murder of a child killer outside a ratty pool hall to a twisted anecdote of lost love, this is a perverse trek along the byway of a city known for peculiar and strange happenings. A tale of vengeance and assassination carried out within the upper crusty boundary of the street near the ocean, another offering a chilling glimpse into the maneuvering found behind TV crime shows and an attorney’s convoluted course to atonement all are presented for the reader’s enjoyment.
There is truly something for everyone in this anthology filled with conundrum, mystery and plain good writing.