In this offbeat mystery, Draper Burns, the titular valet and, chiefly, troubleshooter for a global media mogul is dispatched to Portland, Oregon where the movie--The Vengeful Forest--is being filmed by a studio recently acquired by his boss. After the screenwriter's apparent suicide, Burns, sometimes artfully, often clumsily and neurotically, delves into the on-location movie world and underbelly of Portland where intrigues overlap, frustrate his assignment and put his and others' lives in danger. Movie people, hoodlums, federal agents and Portland characters combine with clever plot twists in a Pacific Northwest setting to make The Hapless Valet a most entertaining read.
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The Hapless Valet
I am an avid mystery/thriller reader and I loved this book! Not only is it well-written, it puts a new spin on the tried-and-true mystery genre with dry humor and irony. Very unique and original. I loved the plot twists all within a movie-making setting. Character development was excellent. The Valet -- Draper Burns-- in particular, is an unexpected and interesting lead character, but all of the various actors and miscreants were quite entertaining. The Portland, Oregon setting also comes alive with the author's descriptions. Don't want to give too much away, but the Elk scene was so vivid, I felt I was right there watching it unfold. I really couldn't put this book down and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a truly original mystery. Also great for anyone who appreciates movie-making, entertaining characters, great writing, and/or wants to visit Portland Oregon.