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No Sale [Paperback]

Patrick Conrad , Jonathan Lynn
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

14 Jun 2012
For Victor Cox, a professor of film history, the Hollywood films noirs are more than his daily life. When his wife is found drowned, Cox is the first murder suspect. He falls in love with a student who looks like the 1920s film star Louise Brooks, but she disappears at a Belgian seaside resort. Smeared in lipstick in the hotel room are the words 'No Sale' - the same words Elizabeth Taylor wrote in the film Butterfield 8. A series of gruesome killings of young women, all modelled on violent deaths in films he knows and loves, lead the police back to Cox...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: BITTER LEMON PRESS (14 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904738974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904738978
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 811,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Praise for Patrick Conrad's "Limousine": "Unremitting black humour." - Literary Review "Exquisite, exciting, stomach-churning, sombre, gruesome, hilarious." - De Morgen - Review "The punishment has rarely been made to fit the crime with such horrifying literalism as in this novel." -- The Times

About the Author

Patrick Conrad, born 1945 in Antwerp, is a Flemish poet, screenwriter, film director and novelist. He directed over twenty films for cinema and television, including - selected for the Cannes Festival - Mascara with Charlotte Rampling and Michael Sarazin. He lives in Provence, in the south of France. Limousine, a previous novel, is being made into a film with Kelsey Grammar, to be released in 2012.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
With an opening line like this, the reader expects a lively and unusual novel, and in this case, gets it. Belgian author Patrick Conrad, who is also a poet, screenwriter, director, and painter, combines his varied talents in this novel of the silver screen, and fans of film classics will be kept thoroughly entertained and engaged throughout. Several Antwerp deaths modeled after murders in classic films, or associated with the scandalous lives of Hollywood stars and directors, keep Chief Superintendent Fons Luyckx, known as The Sponge, and his assistant, Detective Inspector Lannoy, involved with all the gory details as they search for real clues to real murders while also searching for the cinema connections which might provide them with suggestions about the possible motivation of the killer or killers.

At the heart of the mystery is Professor Victor Cox, who teaches the History of Cinema at the Institute of Film and Theatre Studies and who first comes to the attention of the police when his wife Shelley vanishes one night. The police quickly discover Shelley's mangled body. While staggering, drunk, across an Antwerp bridge with a companion, she had been hit by a car, her body thrown off the bridge by someone unknown. In a double irony, Shelley was still wearing all her jewelry when she was discovered, all of it props used in classic films--from her wedding ring, the one which Veronica Lake wore in This Gun for Hire, to her pearls, worn by Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot. The dark humor of the latter is not lost on the detectives, one of whom wears a Smurf shirt, though they take their jobs seriously as they search for the person who drove the car which killed Shelley.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best ! 14 Aug 2012
By Ephraim
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the cleverest of crime novels, with an especial interest to anyone with an interest in the Cinema. The collaboration of the writer, Patrick Conrad, with his extensive knowledge of Film plus his brilliant story, and the perfect page-turning translation of Jonathan Lynn result in a most entertaining read. Highly recommended by Derek Scott.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"I can imagine no more fascinating adversary than a cinema-loving psychopath who knows as much about film as I do....My life makes sense once again because I can finally put all this useless accumulation of knowledge to some good use. I am playing the leading role in a film of which I do not know the screenplay." So writes Victor Cox, a distracted, exhausted, decent and retired 60-year-old professor of film history whose head is filled with movie detritus. The professor soon finds himself a prime suspect in the gruesome murders of women; each murder styled to echo the death from a Hollywood movie. The first victim was his wife.

What a wonderful premise. What a clever and well-written novel. If a person likes old Hollywood movies as well as good writing it will probably be impossible not to keep smiling as one encounters bloody murder, difficult clues and irrelevant (are they?) Hollywood stories that pop unbidden into the professor's mind and dreams.

"Last night I dreamt that I had landed in a film by Hathaway or John Sturges. I was sitting in a dark bar that resembled the bar of the hotel and met a mysterious woman in an evening dress posing as a singer. She claimed to know the saddest song in the world. I asked if she would sing it for me but she refused." Later, she does.

Of course, there is a woman, a young, mysterious woman who has come into the professor's life like a gift. "Starr Mortenson - my star just as Dietrich was the star of von Sternberg or Harlow was the star of Capra....All my life I have fed on the dreams of others. A kiss was nothing but four lips six feet wide barely touching in close-up....Once again there is a woman in the house, which smells of love and coffee.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars M. Poirot goes to the movies 24 Sep 2012
By Judyx
A real page-turner, this clever and enjoyable crime novel drew me in from the start and kept me guessing until the end. Very well written and humorous too.
A correction is required: the book suggests that Virginia Rappe was murdered by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. He was charged with her manslaughter and this trial destroyed his career as an actor and destroyed him as a man. He was acquitted on the third trial and received a written apology from the jury. Sadly, he died the following year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brainy, black and humourous 9 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Top class translation of a highly enjoyable thriller by Flemish author, Patrick Conrad, especially for anybody who has some knowledge of the film noir genres of the 1920s, '30s and '40s, the golden age of Hollywood, when films came from the imagination of brilliant writers, directors and actors(not from the back issues of comic books). Edge of the seat plotting, and funny, too.
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