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Bel-Air Dead: A Stone Barrington Novel by [Woods, Stuart]
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Bel-Air Dead: A Stone Barrington Novel Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Description

Product Description

Stone is no stranger to Bel-Air-and to the beautiful and wealthy widow who needs his help to become even wealthier. At stake is the sale of her investment in-and the resulting dissolution of-Hollywood's world-famous Centurion Studios. But when Stone arrives in Bel-Air to finalize the sale, he discovers that one of L.A.'s most rapacious power brokers has Centurion in his sights...

About the Author

Stuart Woods is the author of more than forty novels, including the New York Times bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. An avid sailor and pilot, he lives in New York City, Florida, and Maine.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1244 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451235347
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint edition (April 26 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LRPDP0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,810 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 186 reviews
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars style over substance April 27 2011
By Matthew Schiariti - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Am I tiring of the Stone Barrington Novels? Maybe. After several none too stellar offerings Strategic Moves was actually a return to old form, substance over style but it seems the pendulum has begun to swing the other way.

It all starts off when Stone gets a call from his one time girlfriend Arrington Calder...she needs his counsel on some business and as a result he and his friend Dino take Stone's plane out to California. The business deal in question is the proposed sale of Centurion Studios..As it turns out through her late husband, actor Vance Calder, Arrington has a MASSIVE stake in the company..when I say massive I'm saying she's worth over a billion dollars (apparently nearly everyone Stone encounters in this book is a billionaire)...she doesn't want to sell to the shady Mr. Prince who may come from questionable drug cartel money as it so happens, but she'd like to invest the money in something else back home in Virginia...

The novel is really a quest of sorts to save the studio by helping studio exec Rick Barron gather a controlling interest in the studio or at the very least, have the share holders vote against the sale...when long time share holders start to run into certain misfortunes, things get dicey for Stone and the gang..

This really isn't a thriller as not very much happens in the way of the crimes committed against some of the share's not really a mystery either because the parties responsible for any wrong doing are patently obvious so there's not much left to wonder about...'whodunit' is pretty obvious...

The book really seems to be about Stone doing deals for rich people, primarily Arrington...selling this to buy that, buying an airplane, investing lots of money, cashing big checks...having dinner with other rich people, drinking cocktails with other rich with some other recent novels in the series, it's more like reading lifestyles of the rich and famous than reading a book about a retired NYPD detective gone lawyer...

Sure, the emotional strings of the whole 'save the studio' aspect are pulled on...but it's hard to get emotionally invested in characters that want for's fluff..reading multiple passages such as 'Well Arrington, you're $25 million richer', 'how nice, Stone', gets old quick quite frankly...

It's not ALL bad...the rapid fire dialogue, especially between Dino and Stone is back in full force..while it's more or less the 'same ole' it can still be fun to read..I'm just curious why the NYPD doesn't put out an APB on Dino...he never seems to be in the office, nor the city for that matter...the book also reads very quickly so it won't take up much of your time..

The book also seems to be an amalgamation of Wood's many he did by mixing Stone in with Holly Barker, we get Rick Barron, Ed Eagle and a few of their supporting cast in on the book...I like the cohesive universe aspect and he does a good job of catching readers up on some of these other characters if you haven't read those series..

At the end of the day, if reading about 9 figure transactions, personal jets and six figure cars is your favorite thing then maybe this book is for you...I just found it way light on the story....I don't mind Stone hobnobbing with the rich and famous..until it becomes nearly the entire focal point of the whole me, that's fluff and a case of style over substance
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and Fluff-less April 26 2011
By F. Harrison - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is the type of book you read when you want a fast read with action and some sexual innuendo but not too much required thinking. It's not The Brothers Karamazov, but it's a fun, well-written 280 pages.

Plot goes something like this: after an old actor in So Cal dies, he leaves his widow stock in Centurion Studios, which is located in lovely Bel Air. The widow, Arrington asks heron again off again lover and father of her kid Stone Barrington (really Arrington/Barrington?) to help her protect the property from a sleazy investment banker Prince who wants the property the centurion is on.

After a stockholder gets killed and Barrington assumes it's related, the story starts to get going. It's a quick read and not too much fluff, which I like. If you like this style but want more espionage, try The Sixth Man, more politics try the excellent Gods of Ruin
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A yawner May 19 2011
By Great Poobah - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Reads like a high schooler wrote it. Full of cliches and filler. If Woods really wrote it he should be ashamed of himself.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blah, sex, blah, money, blah, guns, blah, sex Aug. 10 2011
By Emote Control - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In the beginning, Stuart Woods wrote fine stuff. Chiefs was a superb book, and his early Stone Barrington and Holly Barker novels were excellent. Then it all went to pot, Stone wandering around, meeting gorgeous women who have sex with him ten minutes after meeting him, and of course they're all rich.

There is no tension in this book, and plenty of gaping plot holes. The head of Centurion Studios meets Stone and Dino for the first time, is perfectly well aware one of them is a police officer and the other used to be, and what does he do? He reminisces about a murder he committed in a previous Stuart Woods novel! If he's that dumb, or at least that senile, he deserves to lose the shareholder vote.

In addition, why does Centurion Studios have a Western town on its back lot? It's been decades since the Western genre was popular enough to justify that sort of expense.

My advice. Don't contribute to this vampire's bloated coffers. Save your money.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing June 15 2011
By SWFan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read every Stuart Woods novel and have enjoyed them. I am not sure that I will bother with another.

Private jets, $250 million homes, bed hopping with beautiful actresses and a NYPD homicide detective along for the ride. I thought it was poorly written, boring, frivolous, nonsense. I didn't finish this book.