Los Angeles writer Cece Caruso is thrilled that her biography of mystery writer Dashiell Hammett is headed for the big screen. Even better, Cece is getting paid to tutor Rafe Simic, the gorgeous actor cast for the lead. Okay, so he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But he's really cute and the money's good.
Too bad he might also be a killer. When the body of a woman turns up, Rafe's picture is found among her effects. The victim, it turns out, was a blast from Rafe's past. In a plot that could come right out of a Hammett novel, Cece sets out to find justice for the dead woman, even if it means pulling the plug on the movie. The only thing is, someone might pull the plug on Cece first.
"While Cece's vintage clothing fetish gives her a certain loony charm, it doesn't get in the way of her genuine talents as a sometime sleuth and full-time writer, biographies of dead mystery writers being herspecialty... Kandel can be cutting about the fakery of the movie business, but she takes mystery fiction seriously. And she shows real sensitivity for the tormented genius [Dashiell Hammett] who dug his own grave when he moved to Hollywood."
— THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Equal parts Hammett biography and Los Angeles mystery,filled with glittery movie stars, surf punks and a spicy B-plot... Kandel's affectionate tribute to Hammett is both poignant and edgy... Stark, tantalizing prose, smart central plot... fascinating, little-known biographical and historical tidbits about Hammett and his era that add surprising richness and elegance... Literary luminaries and their characters seem to act as muse for [Kandel's] best writing."
— THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
"The delightful Cece Caruso is back in Shamus in the Green Room, the third in Susan Kandel's series featuring the perpetually 39-year-old ex-beauty queen turned mystery author/ amateur detective. These saucy, well-crafted mysteries are a lot of fun... Fans of the series will be pleased that her passion for vintage clothing never gets old, much like Cece herself."
— THE BOSTON GLOBE