All he wanted was another nice part in a hit TV show....
Instead, he got a murder accusation, a road trip, and a crazy fan-girl....
Johnny Fontana was a handsome 21-year-old actor on top of the world - starring in his own TV show as the brilliant Detective Frank Morelli...until the network canceled the series. After not landing a new part in 10 years, he finds himself working in the construction industry, remodeling houses. Even this is bearable until his old co-star, Lawrence Everett (who is now one of the biggest names at the box office) shows up out of nowhere and brags to Johnny about all the things he is missing out on. Just when everything seems to be settling down into a normal routine again, the worst happens: Lawrence Everett is found murdered, and Johnny becomes the prime suspect.
Enter a beautiful, though overly-enthusiastic, fan of Johnny's old TV show, add a road trip through California to gather clues, and you have a delightful romp of murder, mystery, and hilarity as Johnny tries to figure out what really matters in life.
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"I smell a big story here."
Life isn't easy for a has been T.V. star unable to get acting work so forced to labour on a construction site. Even harder when his old co star is now popular, rich and offering him a job - mending a lavatory! But things are about to get a whole lot worse....
When I first started to listen to the complimentary review copy I received, via Audiobook Boom, I had no idea just how much I was going to enjoy The Leading Man. The narrator read the text at a very fast pace, with odd little pauses sometimes breaking the flow. I began to think he was the wrong person to have chosen; but how wrong I was. Within minutes I was used to his slight peculiarities and realised he was the perfect voice for Johnny Fortuna, fast, sometimes angry and often perplexed. Plus the dialogues were superbly done, each conversational voice distinctive and very appropriate. I especially enjoyed the gentle English sounding solicitor and Alice, a fan of Johnny's old detective series, who accompanies him on his real life Leading Man quest.
The book is ingenious, cleverly written, an old style adventure mystery where the hero (Johnny) and quick talking companion (Alice) try to track down the killer in a race against time. And it is a neat little mystery full of colourful characters and an array of locations, all simply but atmospherically described. The constant chatter from Alice and the unlikely situations in which the couple find themselves is great fun and, just occasionally, laugh out loud funny. And just when you think it's all over, well, it isn't. Perhaps the ending is a wee bit predictable but no harm in that as the rest of the book certainly is not.
If you are looking for a well written, fun story with quirky.characters in a crime solving caper, look no further. I can, without hesitation, recommend The Leading Man.
- Norma Miles
A Screwball Comedy
- Kindle Customer