>> Tuesday, August 19, 2014
The Fame Thief by Timothy Hallinan
Series: #3 in the Junior Bender series
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: 2013
The Short Version:
Junior Bender, professional burglar and occasional private investigator for those on the wrong side of the law investigates something that happened back in the glory days of Hollywood and the Mob rule in Vegas.
Why I Read It:
I enjoyed the first two in the series and I wanted to see what Junior got himself into this time.
From the publisher:
There are not many people brave enough to say no to Irwin Dressler, Hollywood’s scariest mob boss-turned-movie king. Even though Dressler is ninety-three years old, LA burglar Junior Bender is quaking in his boots when Dressler’s henchman haul him in for a meeting. Dressler wants Junior to solve a “crime” he believes was committed more than sixty years ago, when an old friend of his, once-famous starlet Dolores La Marr, had her career destroyed after compromising photos were taken of her at a Las Vegas party. Dressler wants justice for Dolores and the shining career she never had.
Junior can’t help but think the whole thing is a little crazy. After all, it’s been seventy years. Even if someone did set Dolores up for a fall from grace back then, they’re probably long dead now. But he can’t say no to Irwin Dressler (no one can, really). So he starts digging. And what he finds is that some vendettas never die—they only get more dangerous.
I like Junior Bender. Yeah, he's a burglar but he's also a good guy who is trying to be a good father to his teenage daughter.
He just keeps getting pressured into investigative work. This time it's for an aging mob boss. The difficulty is that he's been asked to find out who was behind something that happened back in 1950. Who was behind ruining Dolores La Marr's reputation and career and why?
I enjoyed the way the story alternated between the present day investigation by Junior and the 1940's golden age of Hollywood story of Dolores. The more Junior digs the more trouble he finds. When people he's talked to start dying in ugly ways it turns out that Junior just might be in over his head.
Hallinan has created a flawed hero in Junior. As usual there are lots of twists and turns. There are also quite a few laughs. My favorite mystery series are those that blend action, humor and a hero I like. Hallinan has a winner with this series. I'm looking forward to reading the fourth soon.