Design for Dying – Renee Patrick

25659422 4/5 “Come as you are” Parties

On The Back:

This debut is the first in a series of riveting behind-the-scenes mysteries from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

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.

Edith has yet to win the first of her eight Academy Awards; right now she’s barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian’s name and save Edith’s career, the two women join forces.

Unraveling the mystery pits them against a Hungarian princess on the lam, a hotshot director on the make, and a private investigator who’s not on the level. All they have going for them are dogged determination, assists from the likes of Bob Hope and Barbara Stanwyck, and a killer sense of style. In show business, that just might be enough.

My Thoughts:

A solid start to a series centered on Hollywood in the 1930s, Design for Dying was worth the read.

The characters were wonderfully different from each other. Lillian faced many of the same struggles all main characters face in books set in this era, however, her indifference to her problems was a wonderful change. Gene, Addison, and Edith, however, were my favorites. I really hope we get more about them in the next book. All three were vivid, yet there could easily be a book examining each of their backstories.

The mystery was good, but it honestly lacked the pizzazz I was expecting. I didn’t expect the killer, but, because the book was set in Hollywood, I expected the reveal to be more glamorous or something. The setting was wonderful, I loved reading the descriptions of the movie sets, and I absolutely loved how the authors injected real former actors into the plot.

Overall a wonderful book, I will definitely be reading the next one. Recommend!


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