Alive! A Valentino Mystery by Loren D. Estleman (2013) is the latest in the Valentino series, and finds our UCLA Archivist/“film detective” Valentino embroiled in a murder. Valentino’s friend Craig Hunter tries to contact him regarding some rare screen test footage, but Valentino doesn’t get a chance to deal with Hunter, for his friend turns up murdered. The footage? The legendary Lugosi test footage of Frankenstein. Valentino (of course) has to get to the bottom of this. Peppered with film/film people references, this book is a lot of fun— movie memorabilia collectors will recognize who collector J. Arthur Greenwood was based on immediately! In addition to the novel, you get “closing credits” which includes annotated lists of recommended film books and films to watch.
Others in the Valentino Mystery series: Frames (2008) and Alone (2009) are also available in the Alameda County Library.