Woods's dizzyingly paced 20th Stone Barrington novel (after Strategic Moves) takes the New York attorney to Los Angeles to represent recent widow Arrington Calder, his sometime lover, in her attempts to keep control of Centurion Studios. Barrington undertakes a rapid realignment of Calder's holdings while forming alliances and buying shares to thwart the efforts of Prince Investment's Terry Prince, who wants the prime Bel-Air acreage the studio occupies. The murder of stockholder Jennifer Harris is only the first indication of how rough Prince plays. With longtime pal Dino Bacchetti at his side as well as the mighty resources of Mike Freeman's Strategic Services and Bill Eggers's law firm Woodman & Weld, Barrington matches financial wits with the arrogant Prince. There's cross-pollination with Woods's Ed Eagle series (Santa Fe Edge, etc.) as one of Eagle's nemeses plays a surprising role. Series fans will find Barrington as shrewd, sexy, and glib as ever. (Apr.)
Praise for Bel-Air Dead
“A fast-paced mystery with an inside look into Hollywood and the motion picture business.”—The Oklahoman
“Fans will enjoy the Stone invasion of Hollywood...The story line is fast-paced from the moment Stone arrives in California.”—Midwest Book Review
“Dizzyingly paced...Series fans will find Barrington as shrewd, sexy, and glib as ever.”—Publishers Weekly
“Woods’ many fans will enjoy seeing the characters from his various novels interacting, and the story moves along at an exciting clip.”—Booklist
More Praise for Stuart Woods
“Stuart Woods is a no-nonsense, slam-bang storyteller.”—Chicago Tribune
“A world-class mystery writer...I try to put Woods’s books down and I can’t.”—Houston Chronicle
“Mr. Woods, like his characters, has an appealing way of making things nice and clear.”—The New York Times
“Woods certainly knows how to keep the pages turning.”—Booklist
“Since 1981, readers have not been able to get their fill of Stuart Woods’ New York Times bestselling novels of suspense.”—Orlando Sentinel
“Woods’s Stone Barrington is a guilty pleasure...he’s also an addiction that’s harder to kick than heroin.”—Contra Costa Times (California)
Stone Barrington is all set to manage the sale of Centurion Studio, owned by the recently deceased husband of Arrington Calder, Barrington's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son. Alas, Hollywood high-ups have other ideas about the studio. From the ever-popular Woods; look for a tour to support this one.
Stone Barrington (Lucid Intervals, 2010, etc.) fights to protect a Hollywood studio from a takeover bid that goes way beyond hostile.
Arrington Calder, the most durable of Stone's former lovers, wants the father of her son to come to La-La-Land to vote the shares in Centurion Studios her late husband, six-time Oscar-winning star Vance Calder, left her. By the time Stone and his NYPD ex-partner, Lt. Dino Bacchetti, land in L.A., Arrington's changed her mind, in the first of many plot complications that go nowhere. As Stone settles into Arrington's guest house and the battle lines form, it becomes clear that investor Terry Prince's bid to purchase a controlling interest in Centurion from Arrington and its other leading shareholders—ancient Centurion CEO Rick Barron, Hollywood heiress Jennifer Harris and Jim Long, currently sitting in jail accused of conspiring to murder Santa Fe attorney Ed Eagle (Santa Fe Edge, 2010, etc.)—is seriously bad news. For one thing, Terry's plan to build a hotel on Centurion's land would gut the studio. For another, his money is coming from Mexican and Colombian drug lords. Finally, his determination to close the deal crosses the line to murder, as Jennifer Harris discovers to her sorrow. Remaining cool throughout (his reaction when his Mercedes is blown up: "I guess we'd better take the Bentley"), Stone helps Centurion fend off this unwanted suitor while he thwarts equally aggressive subplots from Terry's beautiful, frigid executive assistant Carolyn Blaine and Ed Eagle's homicidally resourceful ex-wife.
Redoubtable Stone not only beds the best women and corrals the best lifestyle perks but succeeds so well in his job that he's rewarded with a full partnership in his law firm and a large share of control over Centurion himself. What a guy.