Enter Valentino, a mild-mannered UCLA film archivist, buys a decrepit movie palace and uncovers a skeleton in the secret Prohibition basement. He then makes a second discovery: long-lost, priceless, reels of film: Erich von Stroheim's infamous Greed. The Los Angeles Police Department wants to take the reels as evidence, jeopardizing the precious old film. If Valentino wants to save his find, he has only one choice: solve the murder within seventy-two hours, with the help of his mentor, the noted film scholar Broadhead, and Fanta, a feisty if slightly flaky young law student. Between a budding romance with a beautiful forensics investigator and visions of Von Stroheim's ghost, Valentino's madcap race to save the flick is as fast and frenetic as a classic screwball comedy.
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by Loren D. Estleman
by John McFetridge
"Estleman's short story character Valentino has finally made it to the big time--a full-length novel. The film archivist at U.C.L.A. stumbles onto two mysteries. In an abandoned movie theater he wants to purchase he finds a skeleton and reels of film that may be the only remaining examples of an Eric von Stroheim classic. Valentino attempts to help the police solve what might be murder while concealing the existence of the movie. William Dufris's narration is as lighthearted and fanciful as Estleman intended. Whether he's the sleuth Valentino, his know-it-all mentor, a wacky law student, or one of the other half-dozen characters, Dufris gives it his all with a chuckle and a wink. A.L.H. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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