The Monet Murders

  • by Terry Mort
  • Narrated by Tony Pasqualini
  • 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Private investigator to the stars Riley Fitzhugh finds himself caught up in the case of a missing Hollywood beauty - and a stolen Monet - in a 1930s hard-boiled caper as deadly as it is delightful.
Hollywood, 1934. Prohibition is finally over, but there is still plenty of crime for an ambitious young private eye to investigate. Though he has a slightly checkered past, Riley Fitzhugh is well connected in the film industry and is hired by a major producer - whose lovely girlfriend has disappeared. He is also hired to recover a stolen Monet, a crime that results in two murders... with more to come. Along the way Riley investigates the gambling ships anchored off LA, gets involved with the girlfriend of the gangster running one of the ships, disposes of the body of a would-be actor who assaults Riley's girlfriend, and meets an elegant English art history professor from UCLA who helps him authenticate several paintings. Living at the Garden of Allah Hotel, Riley meets and assists many Hollywood screenwriters who frequent the hotel bar. Incidentally one of these gents, whose nom de plume is Hobey Baker, might actually be F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Noir light.

If Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler were the true writers of hard-boiled noir detective stories, this is a soft-boiled noir light.

The heart of the story is about a Monet painting. Is it really stolen? Is it a forgery? The art angle is central, but the story also deals with the movie industry of the times (think "casting couch") and literature. A couple of murders is thrown in, but no real tension or suspense is felt. The whole book has an intellectual feel to it. Tons of literary references and quotes from Shakespeare, poets and philosophers. Looking for action and excitement? Look elsewhere.

The protagonist is an intellectual sort of gumshoe ("I read a lot") that takes the soft approach to sleuthing. No gunplay, no fighting, you get the idea. What he does is talk, a lot! He also does a lot of sleeping around with most of the women in the story. The exception is his secretary Della. His daily banter with her is great fun. Most other female characters are dealt with more or less as sex objects for the "hero".

The writing is technically good. Just not very engaging. Some chuckles here and there, but I never really got caught up in the story.

Narration is good.

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- Mike T.

Not Noir, Not 1934

Would you try another book from Terry Mort and/or Tony Pasqualini?

Perhaps. But I would have to consider long and hard before picking one up.


What could Terry Mort have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Get an editor that would remove the repetitiveness of the dialogue and story.How many times to we have to hear about his undercover work in Youngstown?How many brassy (but gorgeous) women can he bed?The dialogue is cartoonish. I have not "researched" but the book seems to abound with anachronisms.


Would you be willing to try another one of Tony Pasqualini’s performances?

no -- his attempt to voice the protagonist as a cynical, smart guy made me cringe. I found it creepy.


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It seemed to have promise but fizzled on plot and characters.


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- Diane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-15-2015
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.