One Extra Corpse is the second entry in Hambly’s Silver Screen mystery series. Emma’s husband died in WWI and, after losing her parents and brother as well, she eventually ends up in Los Angeles with her sister in law Kitty, a gorgeous and untalented star of silent film. This is a light and a well-researched, well-written and well-plotted mystery. Without risking spoilers, Hambly examines the early days of the studio system where stars were made because of how they looked. We learn about the common practice of ensuring notoriously gay actors appear in public with “romantic” people of the opposite sex. Extras were were so expendable that they risked life and limb to appear in crowd scened involving guns or explosives. The casting couch entry to the profession was definitely in place. Hollywood was a small, small town when it came to knowing everyone’s business. Hambly weaves in famous actors and directors whose backstories are known to us. Emma has a cameraman boyfriend, Zal. It’s been four years since she left England and this budding relationship has potential, but she sometimes longs to be back in England continuing her studies at Oxford. In addition to serving as Kitty’s assistant, Emma has work as a screenwriter. This could be problematic as her knowledge of ancient history is frequently set aside when, for example she’s instructed to make a character Christian in a period falling eighty years before the birth of Jesus. I enjoyed this enough to buy the first book in the series so I can fill in the back story. Fun characters, fun geographical background, fun locale, interesting resolution to the murder. Definitely recommend.
One Extra Corpse – Barbara Hambly
Emily Leader Book Reviews 1 Minute
Published by Emily Leader
I have been an avid reader since Dick and Jane met Sally. At age 7, I read my parents' first edition of "To Kill a Mockingbird." I am a retired lawyer and so read almost only fiction for pleasure. I'm adding in nonfiction these days, largely on social justice matters but also history, biography, and weird topics that catch my imagination. I used to read only serially, one book at a time. Presently, I read paperbacks, hardcovers, listen to audible, listen to CDs and read online through Net Galley. Covid-19 has caused me to read a lot so I have re-upped my Goodreads challenge for 2021 and am starting to review at least my favorite finds annd, perhaps, some stinkers. View all posts by Emily Leader