All That Glitters Review
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During this time of year, all eyes are on Hollywood, as the biggest stars walk the red carpets, posing in the most glamorous garb as they make their way to the latest awards ceremony. But in his second Jake & Laura Mystery, All that Glitters, author Michael Murphy transports readers back to historical Hollywood for a movie-making mystery.

All That Glitters finds Broadway star Laura Wilson traveling to 1930s Hollywood, where she’s starring in her first movie. She’s joined by detective turned mystery writer Jake Donovan, who’s hoping for two things from their stay in Hollywood: plenty of time to work on his next Blackie Doyle novel and a nice, quiet night to propose to the woman he loves. But as soon as they’re off the train, Jake and Laura find themselves caught up in the hustle and bustle of Hollywood. And when the studio boss’s son is murdered, Jake is pulled back into the crime-solving business in order to keep himself out of prison.

  
 
All That Glitters takes readers on a action-packed literary journey back in time, to the golden age of Hollywood. Jake and Laura’s belongings aren’t even unloaded from the train before they become immersed in the glamour and politics of the city. Laura is swept away to the studio, while Jake finds himself attracting the attention of Laura’s notorious co-star. And it isn’t long before they’re socializing (and, in Jake’s case, brawling) with Hollywood’s biggest names—some real, some fictional—at a glitzy studio party.

At times, the period touches can be distracting. The time-specific slang tends to feel forced, and the details aren’t always entirely historically accurate. But Murphy fills the story with the style and elegance of classic Hollywood, mixing in touches of history, politics, and crime as the characters travel from sets to speakeasies in an attempt to track down a killer.

While the mobsters and Hollywood history are definitely intriguing, though, the characters will have readers coming back for more. Jake and Laura make a great crime-solving team. He may be the former Pinkerton and she may be the famous actress, but they both play a part in the investigation. Jake is clever, though his quick temper and fast-talking can get him into trouble. Laura, meanwhile, is smart and thoughtful and eager to help. Her irresistible charms and acting abilities help her get important information when Jake’s straightforward, no-nonsense approach fails. And though she’s sometimes outraged and angered by his actions, the couple’s arguments and imperfections make their relationship believable.

With its old-Hollywood glamour and its lovable crime-solving team, All That Glitters is a light and entertaining caper—a good choice for anyone who’s searching for something to read between award shows.


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