Staci here, on my every other Thursday, talking about my latest reads. Over the weekend, I finished a delightful mystery titled Dial H for Hitchcock. I’ve been a Hitchcock fan since I was a teen (which reminds me, Footsteps in the Fog is a great non-fiction book that examines many of the locations, particularly in San Francisco, that Hitchcock used for his films), so as soon as I saw the title, I had to find out what the book was about. After reading the back cover summary, I was immediately intrigued by the concept.
The main character, CeCe Caruso, lives in Los Angeles and writes biographies for some of the greats involved in mysteries both on film and in books. In this particular case, she’s working on a biography of Alfred Hitchcock. In an effort to research the famous director, she attends a screening of Vertigo one evening and soon finds herself embroiled in a real-life murder mystery that follows the same stylings as one of Hitchcock’s films. The dialogue is snappy, the wit is always cutting, and the background information about Hitchcock himself is fascinating. Fans of Hitchcock films will be amused by the situations that seem to echo scenes from his movies, but even people who have never seen a Hitchcock film will enjoy the book.
While I had never heard of the author, Susan Kandel, before starting the book, it turns out that Dial H for Hitchcock is the fifth in the series. Her other four books focus on Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie, Carolyn Keene, and Earle Stanley Gardner. What a fabulous concept! I love the idea of having a mystery series center around some of the people who made the genre so famous. I can’t imagine the amount of research Kandel must complete in order to provide interesting tidbits about the various directors and authors and to get the nuances of her main plots just right to reflect the style of each one.
Now that I’ve finished Dial H for Hitchcock, I’m looking forward to reading the others. I bet you can guess what I’m putting on my Christmas list!