Velvet on a Tuesday Afternoon, by Clive Rosengren
Velvet on a Tuesday Afternoon (224 pages), is book three of Clive Rosengren’s mystery series set in Hollywood and featuring private investigator/part-time actor Eddie Collins. When an actress/exotic dancer from Eddie Collins’ past hires him to find her brother, he risks his life to both locate Frankie and keep her safe.
Eddie is the real thing, thanks to Rosengren’s eighteen years as a Hollywood character actor. In October Coffeetown reprinted the first two mysteries in this series, Murder Unscripted ($14.95, 240 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60381-669-4), and Red Desert ($14.95, 184 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60381-667-0). Both books were finalists for the Shamus Award, sponsored by the Private Eye Writers of America.
“[In] Rosengren’s assured third Eddie Collins mystery [….] Eddie proves to be a pretty resourceful and impressive detective.” Read more….
“While the investigation is interesting—what’s in those cartons being stored in a large warehouse, and what do they have to do with the missing brother?—the heart of this story is Eddie’s reaction to Velvet’s reappearance in his life. In short, the book’s more intriguing moments are wrapped around the love story, not the mystery. Eddie is a good guy who has a talent for getting himself into bad places, but unlike most of Tinseltown’s cynical PIs, this eminently likable protagonist maintains enough inner innocence to make an unlikely love story believable, even when the weather turns bad.”
—Betty Webb for Mystery Scene Magazine
“A contemporary mystery with a classic gumshoe feel, Velvet on a Tuesday Afternoon is the third book in the Eddie Collins Mystery series. Although the book can be read as a stand-alone, it is best to read the series in order to avoid spoilers. With an older but lively main character and a sultry heroine, this book oozes steam, balanced nicely with a complicated mystery. Packed with action, romance, and intrigue, the story only lacks standout side characters and an interesting setting to take it to the next level. Overall, lovers of contemporary romance and classic mysteries will find this book hard to overlook.”
—Sarah E Bradley for InD’tale Magazine
For PI Eddie Collins, the moment Carla Rizzoli sashays into his office casts him deliciously into a scene from a classic noir. Only this femme fatale is a sweet ghost from his past, a time when he made his living exclusively as an actor. Then she was a full-time actress too, and they’d dated briefly before an old flame came back into her life. Now she’s known as Velvet La Rose and making a steady living as an exotic dancer at the Feline Follies. She needs Eddie’s services to find her missing brother Frankie Rizzoli, who sent her a cryptic message warning her to watch her back.
Eddie falls hard for Carla, who hasn’t given up on acting. In fact, she’s about to start work on a B-movie, Festival of Death. Now motivated by more than a paycheck, Eddie searches for Frankie, last seen hiding out among the homeless. Frankie was once a member of the military police, and an old photo identifies an old Army buddy, James Curran, who starts to cross paths with both Eddie and Carla with increasing frequency.
What is Frankie mixed up in and why doesn’t he want to be found? How does James Curran figure in? As Eddie questions the residents of Skid Row and works undercover as an extra in Festival of Death, he searches in vain for the links between Frankie and James and Carla. He needs answers soon, or Carla may slip through his fingers again, this time into oblivion.
Says Rosengren: “Several years ago at Christmas, my brother, sister-in-law, and myself were visiting my nephew and his wife. While walking back to their home after dinner at a restaurant, my nephew’s wife uttered the phrase ‘velvet on a Tuesday afternoon.’ I can’t remember the context of their conversation, but I immediately seized on the wording and told her I was going to use it as a title. It rolled around in my head for several years, conjuring up exotic and romantic images, which eventually evolved into Carla Rizzoli, a love interest that comes back into Eddie Collins’ life. In the first two books, I’d kind of pictured Eddie as being gun shy when it comes to women, but when this former lover appears in his office asking for his help, he can’t resist. Of course, the fact that Carla works as an exotic dancer at a gentlemen’s club under the name of Velvet La Rose might have something to do with the thawing of his resistance.”
Clive Rosengren’s acting career spanned more than forty years, beginning with stage work and ending in Hollywood. Movie credits include Ed Wood, Soapdish, Cobb, and Bugsy. Among numerous television credits are Seinfeld, Home Improvement, and Cheers. He lives in southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley. Click here to find him online.
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