- Rhonda Allen
Windfall - by Ava Barry
A journalist in the present is almost obsessed with a murder that took place in the 1940s during Hollywood's golden age. The mangled body of Eleanor Hayes, a rising superstar of the era, was found in the rose garden of the estate of her director and lover, Theodore Langley. Initially charged with her murder, the charges against Langley were dropped when the prosecutor in the case was found to have illegally obtained evidence. The journalist and narrator Max Hailey is determined to prove once and for all that Langley had committed the murder though more than 60 years had passed. He begins by exploring (i.e. breaking into) the abandoned mansion where the murder took place and eventually not only obtaining some diaries of Langley's but also being able to interview the elderly Langley. Just when he thinks he has solved what really happened on the night of the murder, his beliefs are turned upside down. Very good mystery that keeps you guessing right up to the very last page. The evidence and interviews and findings are viewed through the lens of the narrator. I would have given it a much higher rating as it was very well written but Max Hailey was such an obnoxious person he got on my nerves. If you like a good mystery and are interested in the golden age of Hollywood this may be a treat for you.