SUSAN KANDEL – Christietown. Harper, trade pb, May 2007. Avon, pb, June 2008.


   As in the three previous books in this series, the city of Los Angeles and the life and work of a mystery writer are nicely integrated into the plot. Cece Caruso is writing a book about Agatha Christie this time around, and she’s supplementing her income with events for a housing development called Christietown. And then, murder happens.

   As the plot unfolds, the Christie connection lessens while parallels and references to the movie Chinatown become more significant, lending more of an edge to the proceedings.

SUSAN KANDEL Dial H for Hitchcock

   As much as I am an all-too-willing suspender of disbelief, it is terrifically implausible that anyone anywhere, let alone in southern California, would create a housing development with an Agatha Christie theme. And Cece’s personal life is very, very messy. (How does she have time to get anything accomplished?)

   Conclusion: readable but gimmicky.

Editorial Comment / Bibliographic Data: Walter Albert reviewed the same book here about a year ago, and at the end I provided a list of all the books in the series. The good news is that due out on October 27th is the next book in the series, Dial H for Hitchcock (originally to be titled Vertigo a Go Go).