Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dial H for Hitchcock-Susan Kandel

Dial H for Hitchcock
Susan Kandel
Harper, Nov 2009, $13.99
ISBN 9780061826672

After completing Christie (see Christietown), in Los Angeles biographer CeCe Caruso is way behind her deadline for the definitive bio on Hitchcock having wasted time on a single person’s honeymoon after kicking police Detective Peter Gambino to the curb. A fan of the late filmmaker, she sees Vertigo. However, leaving the theater CeCe somehow has someone else’s cell phone so turns around to return it.

CeCe travels to Beechwood Canyon to return the cell phone to its owner Anita Colby. There she sees someone push the owner off a cliff reminding her of Vertigo. When the police discover a message CeCe left Anita on her answering machine, she becomes their suspect in the murder.

The latest CeCe Caruso biography mystery is a super amateur sleuth mystery that pays homage to the great director and his films throughout a taut investigation. Filled with jocularity, Susan Kandel keeps CeCe climbing into danger as she fears becoming a dead star in her own film without the accolades of one of the Hitchcock beauties. Fans of Hitchcock will relish Ms. Kandel’s terrific tale of an innocent woman in a state of frenzy sought by a killer and the law (sounds so Hitchcockian).

Harriet Klausner