Death Was In The Picture is the second in Linda L. Richards’ series of mysteries, set in Depression-era Los Angeles and featuring Kitty Pangborn, a debutante fallen on tough times and now working as secretary to an alcoholic private eye, Dexter J. Theroux.
As the title suggests, this novel focuses on Hollywood, and more specifically the Motion Picture Production Code, a set of moral guidelines relating to movies -- specifically their depiction of sex and violence -- devised by a Catholic priest, and implemented by Will Hays, a former Postmaster General.
Linda L. Richards has the wit and style to make this more than an exercise in nostalgia. When she writes about the excesses of the twenties, and the harsh economic realities of the Depression, it is hard not to be reminded of what a similar situation we find ourselves in now, almost a century later.The full review is here. Hanks’ 2008 review of Death Was the Other Woman is here.