From a writer who “rivals Elmore Leonard at his best” (Publishers Weekly) comes the third novel in the Virgil Cain series—a riveting story that opens with the discovery of the body of a movie star near the Hudson River.
In upstate New York, Virgil Cain is drawing hay behind his team of massive Percherons when two movie scouts show up and offer $500 a day to use the horses in a film to be shot in the area. Virgil, in need of cash, reluctantly pockets the money, but he soon finds the chaotic set of Frontier Woman to be more trouble than it’s worth. Savvy producer Sam Sawchuk is in over her head; when she’s not propping up her talent-challenged husband-cum-director, she’s trying to keep tabs on a new investor, the Native American casino owner Ronnie Red Hawk, a rambling egomaniac with designs on an infamous starlet. When the film’s leading lady turns up dead, Virgil discovers that more is at stake than the carnal interests of a casino magnate and the production of a major motion picture. And although he’d rather leave the whole bunch to stew in their own juices, he realizes he needs to step in before a charming ten-year-old actress named Georgia becomes the next victim.
The arrival of a highly dysfunctional Hollywood film crew spells trouble in Smith s stellar third novel featuring laconic upstate New York farmer Virgil Cain (after 2012 s Crow s Landing). The crew plan to shoot a major motion picture, Frontier Woman, based on a bestseller hailed as the Eat, Pray, Love of the nineteenth century. All involved, from producers Sam Sawchuck and Levi Brown to director Robb Fetterman, have hidden agendas, except movie actress Olivia Burns, who plays the lead, and the child in the role of her daughter. When Brown and Fetterman want to hire Virgil s team of Percherons, Bob and Nelly, for the picture, Virgil is happy to oblige. The film s precarious financing opens the door for another player, casino bigwig Ronnie Red Hawk. The suspicious death of one of the principals brings in Virgil s lover, homicide cop Claire Marchand. Wonderfully wrought characters, delicious wit, and droll storytelling make this a delightful romp.