MYSTERY

The Doom List

Severn House. (Tom Collins, Bk. 2). Jun. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9780727889034. $28.99. M
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Movie czar William H. Hays has come to 1920s Hollywood on a mission to clean up the filth and craziness found in motion pictures. Rumors are flying that he is compiling a “doom list” of undesirable people with the intent of barring them from further moviemaking. His list is putting Hollywood on edge, including hot young director Rex Ingram, who hires cop-turned-investigator Tom Collins to help keep himself and his actors in the clear. Collins soon gets embroiled in several scandals, which variously include a pregnant actress, an upcoming actor struggling to keep his sexual proclivities hidden, and a nosy reporter bent on getting the latest scoop. And then a murder victim is found in the desert just south of the city, which might be connected to the movie Ingram and his troupe are making. O’Donovan does a marvelous job with setting and scandal, skillfully evoking the drama of being on an old Hollywood movie set.
VERDICT Fans of 1920s glamour and scandal will enjoy this follow-up to The Long Silence. This fun mystery is a strong entry in the series.

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