James Murray is a young man with a dream -- to be a writer just like his idol, Dashiell Hammett. He pens his first novel while working as a clerk at a swank downtown department store. He writes his second while working at a famous movie studio turning his first novel into a screenplay. His third novel chronicles his adventures trying to find a kidnapped scientist. His fourth novel details his efforts to help a baseball player find the source of several blackmail threats.
And now, the fifth and concluding novel in the series has him facing perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: the ghost of a young woman who died under mysterious circumstances. James and his wife, newspaper woman Arden St. Johns, investigate a supposed medium who holds séances for the rich and powerful of Hollywood’s elite. But, they encounter a mystery: someone is trying to convince others that the dead niece of a famous actress is out for revenge. Can James and Arden team up to solve the mystery?
“Haunting at Ocean House” -- like its predecessors “Blackmail at Wrigley Field,” “Abduction at Griffith Observatory,” "Sabotage at RKO Studio" and "Murder at Eastern Columbia" -- is unlike any other book you've read: Not a single novel, it's two parallel novels, featuring two heroes, working two mysteries in two different versions of 1930s Los Angeles. Join James and his alter ego as they each try to discover who’s behind the mysterious séances. His hard-boiled alter ego -- neither a private detective nor a police officer: just someone "who wants to help" -- needs to find out whether it’s really a ghost or just someone playing an elaborate and dangerous hoax.
Along the way, they encounter a rich cast of characters including a famous movie actress who is the mistress of a rich and powerful newspaper publisher, the wealthy scion of a condiment manufacturer who designs and races custom cars, an ex-farmer’s daughter who came to the big city to make good, a dangerous gangster, a famous movie canine, and plenty of famous actors and actresses.
In addition, this final novel is filled with countless Southern California locations including a lavish Santa Monica beach house, the newly opened Los Angeles Union Station and its Fred Harvey Cocktail Lounge, the famous pet hospital of Dr. Eugene Jones, the Hollywood Park Racetrack, Biltmore Hotel, Clover Field airfield, the S.S. Rex gambling ship, Mary Pickford’s Wilshire Links and the notorious San Simeon castle. “Haunting at Ocean House” is filled with twists and turns leading to a dramatic climax inside the city’s most popular dance spot: The Palomar Ballroom.
Come along for the ride in this, the fifth and final James Murray mystery: the story of a young man who dreams of something better.
|Publisher:||Christopher Geoffrey McPherson|
|File size:||427 KB|
About the Author
In more than three decades as a professional writer/journalist, Christopher has covered myriad subjects and interviewed thousands of people from the famous to the unknown. He brings his years of experience to each one of his novels. Every work is different. Through reading his novels, you can visit the American home front in the 1940s, a future San Francisco wiped out by a killer earthquake, a romantic love affair in post-war Paris in the 1920s, a future planet where the major industry is making babies -- or an exciting detective series set in 1930s Los Angeles. In his career, his work has appeared in daily newspapers, monthly magazines, extensively on radio and the occasional dalliance with television. He has written advertising copy and radio commercials -- and continues to write. Christopher has recently finished work on the last of a series of novels that take place in 1930s Los Angeles called “The James Murray Mysteries.” Books in the series are "Murder at Eastern Columbia," “Sabotage at RKO Studio,” “Abduction at Griffith Observatory,” “Blackmail at Wrigley Field,” and the newest “Haunting at Ocean House.” Other works featuring his byline include "The Babi Makers" -- a science fiction tale about a world where the most important resource is babies; "Sarah & Gerald" -- a novel about Paris in the 1920s; "Forever - and other stories" -- a collection of short stories; "The Life Line" -- the novel of the big one that levels San Francisco; "News on the Home Front" -- a novel of two friends during World War Two; and "Mama Cat" -- a book for children. Also, several short plays, a few radio plays and a boatload of radio documentaries.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This fifth book in the James Murray Mysteries is again set in a meticulously researched and convincingly rendered 1930s LA. The twin characters, James Murray enjoying newly married life, and the nameless detective of his novels, are engaged in parallel mysteries of seances, murder and mayhem. Meanwhile the reader is quickly engaged by smoothly convincing dialog and prose, and by that overarching mystery of how one story will feed itself into the other. The viewpoints of James, his wife Arden, and the fictional detective all blend and part very smoothly throughout the novel. Scenes are viewed through different pairs of eyes, revealing different secrets and ideas, and engaging the reader convincingly in each character’s approach. Well-timed recaps of previous storylines offer immediate reminders and bring the backstories quickly into focus. Meanwhile short chapters with enticing reminders make each section stand alone; the novel can be read in one long session filled with satisfying twists and turns, or many shorter ones, just as the novel Jamie’s writing will be written in long and short bursts. LA has grown larger and grander since the first James Murray mystery. Following the city’s growth as well as the character’s is immensely satisfying to the reader, and the gap growing between James and his alter ego feels perfectly timed, leading onward to a well-drawn conclusion where fake seances, clever trickery, and mysterious disquiet all resolve into satisfyingly mysterious answers. The solution, or solutions, is neither too obvious nor too obscure in the end, and the novel draws smoothly to a close. Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.