Hollywood, 1934. Prohibition is finally over, but there is still plenty of crime for an ambitious young private eye to investigate. Though he has a slightly checkered past, Riley Fitzhugh is well connected in the film industry and is hired by a major producer--whose lovely girlfriend has disappeared. He also is hired to recover a stolen Monet, a crime that results in two murders initially, with more to come.
Along the way Riley investigates the gambling ships anchored off L.A., gets involved with the girlfriend of the gangster running one of the ships, and disposes of the body of a would-be actor who assaults Riley's girlfriend. He also meets an elegant English art history professor from UCLA who helps Riley authenticate several paintings and determine which ones are forgeries.
Riley lives at the Garden of Allah Hotel, the favorite watering place of screenwriters, and he meets and unknowingly assists many of them with their plots. Incidentally one of these gents, whose nom de plume is 'Hobey Baker,' might actually be F. Scott Fitzgerald . . . Evoking the classic hardboiled style, The Monet Murders is a charmingly cosy murder mystery by a novelist whose "lucid, beautifully written books are a pleasure to read." (The Wall Street Journal)