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Valentino: Film Detective Paperback – 11 May 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Crippen & Landru Publishers (11 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932009965
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932009965
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,915,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Loren D. Estleman is the author of more than seventy novels, including twenty-two previous Amos Walker noir thrillers. He has won four Shamus Awards for his hard-boiled detective fiction, five Spur Awards for Western fiction, and three Western Heritage Awards. His most recent novel is The Confessions of Al Capone, a major work based on the life of the infamous mobster. He lives with his wife, author Deborah Morgan, in central Michigan.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Loren Estleman has written a number of popular mystery/detective series featuring a number of hard boiled heroes and a variety of settings, but many readers have a special fondness for the Hollywood stories that highlight Valentino, the unflappable film detective.

This book collects fourteen short stories that first appeared in the pages of "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine". As you might suspect, each story is a bite sized mystery snack, usually involving a theft, a murder, or extortion, and full of red herrings and colorful suspects. Because of their nature, the detecting is streamlined and the resolutions are fairly predictable. I don't see how you can avoid that when each story is only 15 to 20 pages long. (At least two of the stories were turned into full length novels, and they are much more fully plotted and fleshed out.)

That's O.K., though, because the mystery part is just the device that keeps each story going somewhere. The fun parts are that each story turns on some early Hollywood film artifact that has been found, lost, stolen or otherwise gone missing. Our hero, Valentino, is a film historian who serves as an art detective for UCLA's preservation department, and who searches the world for those missing snippets of film or lost reels that have survived from Hollywood's storied and colorful past. Each short story is loaded with bits of film lore and tales of old Hollywood glamour, and I'll bet that if you like that sort of thing you'll not be able to stop at just one story.

The Hollywood film angle is carried off with style by the noirish feel of the stories and the appealing wry wit of our hero Valentino.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Stories About Valentino- Film Detective !! 13 Nov. 2012
By MovieGuy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loren Estleman has created a unique detective series featuring Valentino, a UCLA film archivist who is also a detective. I read the first 2 novels in the series "Frames" and "Alone". This book, "Valentino: Film Detective" are short stories that feature this character. Note: Estleman actually expanded two of the stories included in this anthology into the 2 novels I read.

If you are classic movie buff who likes uncovering new information about particular motion pictures,you will like the Valentino stories. Estleman does a great job making an academic into a believable private eye hero.

Highly recommended !!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fourteen Mystery Short Stories With Film History Themes 17 Nov. 2011
By C. Raso - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a collection of fourteen mystery short stories featuring Valentino, a film preservationist, as the main character. They were originally published in "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine." Two of the stories have been expanded into the mystery novels "Frames" and "Alone."

The first few mysteries were not very intriguing and I could tell the author hadn't really fleshed-out the main character yet. The later tales have more interesting ties to Hollywood, the main reason I read the novels, and were more complex.

My favorite stories where the ones I thought the author might draw from for future novels: "Bombshell", "Preminger's Gold", and "The List." In "Bombshell" someone murders a has-been actress and a female impersonator in the same manner in which Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield died. In "Preminger's Gold" an old man who had been an extra in the movie "Anatomy of a Murder" claims the director, Otto Preminger, hid bars of gold in a lake outside of town. The last story in the book, "The List", is about a B film producer who dies in Mexico and leaves the one and only Hollywood blacklist that was used by film studios to ruin the careers of so many people during the red scare.

This was an uneven group of tales. I was especially disappointed when I found out the stories "Greed" and "Garbo Writes" were the same as mystery novels I had already read. The reason why I keep coming back to Valentino is the film history. In the Preface, Estleman explains his love of the cinema and why he decided to create a character that was a film detective. If you enjoy movie history and simple mysteries with good character development then you will enjoy reading the Valentino series.
3.0 out of 5 stars Workmanlike Collection 10 Jan. 2014
By Bonner '62 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These short stories all appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. I think they are all EQMM quality and by that I mean worth a read. I subscribed to EQMM in the 70s and 80s and found it a good steady source of enjoyable reads. The author give his protagonist a quirky job (tracking down rare films for UCLA) and then makes the most of it. I have read mystery books where the protagonist was an undertaker and a stand-up comedian for example but the authors then did nothing with the concept. Estleman takes the concept and melds it into all his stories. The secondary characters are well drawn. I used the book for bedside reading and it was a good way to end the day.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Valentino Stories 18 Dec. 2011
By Jeff Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Familiar to readers of Ellery Queen Magazine, Estleman's stories about a film archivist named Valentino who solves mysteries in his search for rare vintage footage keep getting better. This collection includes one of my favorite mystery stories, "Bombshell," where a killer is doing away with blonde actresses in the manner of famous Hollywood deaths. The stories include a blend of real and fabricated Hollywood history (both done extremely convincingly.) Estleman's novels about Valentino are expanded versions of the stories (and also good), but these are the originals, and well worth the time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Popcorn Mysteries for Film Buffs 25 Aug. 2014
By Pop Bop - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Loren Estleman has written a number of popular mystery/detective series featuring a number of hard boiled heroes and a variety of settings, but many readers have a special fondness for the Hollywood stories that highlight Valentino, the unflappable film detective.

This book collects fourteen short stories that first appeared in the pages of "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine". As you might suspect, each story is a bite sized mystery snack, usually involving a theft, a murder, or extortion, and full of red herrings and colorful suspects. Because of their nature, the detecting is streamlined and the resolutions are fairly predictable. I don't see how you can avoid that when each story is only 15 to 20 pages long. (At least two of the stories were turned into full length novels, and they are much more fully plotted and fleshed out.)

That's O.K., though, because the mystery part is just the device that keeps each story going somewhere. The fun parts are that each story turns on some early Hollywood film artifact that has been found, lost, stolen or otherwise gone missing. Our hero, Valentino, is a film historian who serves as an art detective for UCLA's preservation department, and who searches the world for those missing snippets of film or lost reels that have survived from Hollywood's storied and colorful past. Each short story is loaded with bits of film lore and tales of old Hollywood glamour, and I'll bet that if you like that sort of thing you'll not be able to stop at just one story.

The Hollywood film angle is carried off with style by the noirish feel of the stories and the appealing wry wit of our hero Valentino. He can tell a story, toss off a bon mot, hand out a put down, and take a punch, like the best of the old school detectives, but there is a generous good humor and sense of fun behind the whole enterprise.

This is all helped by the author's nice touch with a throwaway line. The stories have to be crisp and the dialogue fast to fit the short story format, but the author still manages to slip in observations, bits of dialogue, or comments from Valentino that can be funny, sharp or surprisingly insightful.

This isn't heavy stuff, but it's entertaining and satisfying. Actually, it's more than just popcorn; it's at least Raisinets.

Please note that I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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