Touch of the Past

Touch of the Past

2.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Product details

  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • AudioGO Limited
  • Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C
  • Bath, United Kingdom
  • Large type / large print
  • Large Print edition
  • 0745197116
  • 9780745197111

Review Text

Breen's pretty bookseller-sleuth Rachel Hennings (The Gathering Place, 1984) is intrigued when old friend and customer Gil Franklin tells her about a collection of books, all from 1937, that Wilbur De Marco, his neighbor in Idyllwild, wants to sell. Wilbur's house in the California mountain town is furnished 1937 style, and he drives a Duesenburg from the same period. Rachel's interest is focused on why he had stopped writing a successful series of mystery novels - the last in 1937. Whatever the reason, he's suddenly selling the lot - and a garage sale of house contents is scheduled - when he's found murdered in his 1937 kitchen. Deputy Adam Kane is sure the culprit is a transient junkie, but Rachel suspects a motive tied to events of 50 years ago. She arranges with Wilbur's cousin and heir, Arthur Blemker, to rent Wilbur's house for two weeks, ostensibly to research a memorial article on Wilbur; and Gil Franklin sets up a series of interviews with senior citizens of the town, many of whom were working in Hollywood in 1937 (as was Wilbur). While her reporter-boyfriend Stu Wellman helps with research in L.A., Rachel talks to one-time star Frances Payne, now a half-crazed recluse who still hates Wilbur for his leftist politics during the 30's; to once Olympic runner and B-movie actor Jack Hooper, still hiding an ancient secret; to Wilbur's still active editor, Hannah Spurgeon; and to strange old muralist William Klingsburg, among others. What she uncovers is a 50-year-old unsolved murder and a senseless suicide throwing long, violent shadows on the present. Warm small-town atmosphere, vivid evocation of Hollywood in the late 30's, solid characters, and an absorbing plot make this unpretentious, plainly told story the author's best to date. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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