Dangerous to Know – Renee Patrick‘s second Lillian Frost & Edith Head novel – was published last month and, given how much I
liked LOVED the first novel, I was anxious to get my hands on this one 😊 (Cool little tidbit: Renee Patrick is the pseudonym for wife and husband writing duo Rosemarie and Vince Keenan! How cool is that?! 🙌 Answer: VERY cool!)
Read on for my spoiler-free thoughts!
Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Golden Age Hollywood, with a pinch of Romance
If you’re a fan of the Golden Age Hollywood era, I’d highly recommend reading this book. Readers are in the thick of the glitz and glamour. …and murder and mystery!
Overview (From Book Jacket – minus a few sentences to maintain suspense)
Los Angeles, 1938. Former aspiring actress Lillian Frost is adjusting to a new life of boldfaced names and endless glamour as social secretary to a movie-mad millionaire. Costume designer Edith Head is running Paramount Pictures’ wardrobe department – though her position is precarious and her eight Academy Awards are far in her future.
Lillian recently attended a swanky Manhattan dinner party at which well-heeled guests insulted Adolf Hitler. Now, a vengeful housemaid with Nazi sympathies has all New York society running for cover – and two Paramount stars, Jacky Benny and George Burns, facing smuggling charges.
Lillian tries to lay low while the studio is in an uproar over the scandal, but she has no such luck. Edith asks Lillian to look into the disappearance of Jens Lohse, the emigre pianist in Marlene Dietrich’s budding nightclub act, as a favor to Dietrich.
Could Hollywood – thought to be a safe place for German exiles and emigres – be hiding a sinister Nazi element beneath its glitzy veneer?
As Lillian and Edith unravel intrigue that extends from Paramount’s Bronson Gate to FDR’s Oval Office, only one thing is certain: they’ll do it in style.
Dangerous to Know beguilingly blends forgotten fact and fanciful fiction thanks to a real international scandal, in which the war clouds gathering over Europe cast a shadow on Hollywood, while keeping the delightful classic movie magic front and center.
1930’s Hollywood ✨ stars, so many stars
Did I mention stars? Various Hollywood celebrities pop in and out, but Edith and Lillian are at the forefront of the story – and rightly so! 💕 Edith still reminds me of a very fashionable and sage fairy godmother and Lillian retains all the gumption and spunk she had in the first story 🙌 I’d love to chum around with the two of them, but in all honesty, I don’t think I’d be able to keep up 😅
What I Liked
The writing! I thought the writing was fantastic! I don’t pretend to be a know-it-all (or even a know-a-little) when it comes to the Hollywood Golden Age, but Renee Patrick’s solid writing style took me right to the 1930’s. Patrick had the jargon and atmosphere down pat; not to mention the fashion and pizazz that surrounds that era.
I also enjoyed how Patrick wrapped up the story! Mystery solved with just enough teasers to hint at further character development in future books, particularly with Lillian.
What I Liked A Little Less
Most of the things in this section fall very squarely within my personal opinions and preferences and don’t reflect on the quality of the story. First off, I know you’re all probably tired of hearing this, BUT I would have liked more romance. Not that there wasn’t any. I just would’ve liked more. Although, Patrick threw in a bit of a
wrench surprise where the romance is concerned, so I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next!
At times I also got lost in all the names, but I think that was mainly due to my lack of knowledge when it comes to classic Hollywood celebrities. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had a problem if Patrick was name-dropping folks like Elijah Wood, Nathan Fillion, Zoe Saldana, and Idris Elba 😜😍
Lastly, the plot/story was a little too politically-focused for my taste.
Dangerous to Know gets 4/5 stars! Can’t wait to read the next Lillian Frost & Edith Head adventure! If you’re interested in reading Patrick’s first book, Design for Dying, you can check out my spoiler-free review here. Happy reading!