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Keystone Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pantheon
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394726049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394726045
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Mack Sennett and the Keystone Cops in a fictional mystery Nov. 25 2001
By Gary Knoke - Published on
Format: Paperback
In a style similar to Stuart Kaminsky, who has also written fictional mysteries with famous Hollywood stars of the past, Englishman Peter Lovesey has written an excellent thriller with silent screen pioneers Mack Sennett, Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle, and the Keystone Cops that Sennett created and made famous. Lovesey sets up an English actor, who has just transited the States doing Vaudeville, as his hero. The actor, whom Sennett dubs "Keystone" falls in love with a Sennett actress, who is endangered by "real" villains on the set. This period-piece book wonderfully recreates the Hollywood of 1914, and the mystery takes many twists and turns before the hero ultimately prevails. Lovesey once again proves his versatility, and he seems to have had fun writing this book. If you like it, check out other Lovesey works, especially The False Inspector Dew.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In which a Keystone Cop has to solve a real murder mystery Jan. 9 2009
By Marshall Lord - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Interesting and unusual crime mystery set in and around the Keystone Film studios in 1915, and featuring a number of the real and larger-than-life historical characters of the silent movie industry at that time.

The story is narrated by the central character, Warwick Easton, who is an itinerant British comedian, slightly stuffy and pompous offstage, quite talented but not hugely successful onstage. Warwick has been working his way around America. His only plans are to earn enough money to pay for his passage home and, if World War One has not finished by that stage, sign up to serve his country.

His vaudeville act having been seen by a scout for the legendary head of Keystone Studios, Mack Sennett, Warwick is persuaded to apply to Keystone for a job. Hearing his name, Warwick Easton as "Keystone" Sennett is amused by the idea of making Warwick a Keystone Cop - not a role which delights him as he would prefer to play character actors, but some artful persuasion by several of the characters at Keystone studios, and his need of money, persuade him to accept.

He has barely joined the studio when one of the Keystone Cops dies during the course of filming a dangerous stunt, in what looks at first like an accident. He makes friends with a beautiful and charming aspiring actress, Amber Honeybee, who has very little talent but has, to most people's astonishment, been made leading lady in one of the films the studio is shooting. And then Amber in turn is suspected of murder after her mother is found dead. Was it another accident - or is the film set becoming the target of a murderer? Before he knows it this Keystone Cop is forced to try to get to the bottom of a real crime.

As always with Peter Lovesey this is a cleverly constructed novel which keeps you guessing and picks up the spirit of the period - in this case the world of movie making at the time of the silent films, which he presents as being at least as mad as anything in the films themselves. The real figures from the age of the silent greats who are captured in amusing and fascinating pen portraits include Mack Sennett, his girlfriend Mabel Normand, Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle, and his wife Minta.

Entertaining, amusing and clever: I can recommend this book
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Keystone" Lovesey--5 stars for the story July 7 2008
By Neal J. Pollock - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is my 12th Lovesey book including a fantastic story collection (Butchers & Other Stories of Crime) & books in his 3 series (Bertie the Prince of Wales: Bertie and the Tinman, Sergeant Cribb: The Tick of Death, & Inspector Diamond: The Vault) as well as non-series books (The False Inspector Dew). Lovesey is fond of writing mysteries set in the not-too-distant past. It seems to me that Lovesey puts more humor & sheer delight into his non-series books. This one is a case in point. The story is fairly simple though there are definite elements of mystery. But, having a British vaudeville actor play a Keystone Cop for Mack Sennett certainly provides a setting for comedy! The characters may not be multi-dimensional, or develop much in the story, but it's a really fun story. I think I enjoyed it the most of the 12 books. I'd give it 5 stars. However, my copy of the book (the British version--Redwood Books--a Black Dagger Crime Novel) is very poorly bound--It's pages are like new, but they're falling out -- reminds me of London Bridge falling down.
By Len - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was my 3rd LOVESEY. I didn't think
that this was as great as the other two I have read.
It was still pretty good, but, it was just a tad off,,,,,
??too long winded?? perhaps. It was never-the-
less an interesting read. I like the way he writes.
Parts were very sedately witty!!

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