Los Angeles in the 1940’s is the city of dreams. Thousands come to the city with hopes of making it big in the movies. One of those people is Felicia Avery. With flowing red hair and a Rita Hayworth beauty, she has dreams of landing a break through role that will make her shine on the big screen.
But along with dreams, there is danger. Felicia auditions for the well known C. B. DeWarner of DeWarner Studios. She hopes to get a big role for one of his upcoming pictures. She doesn’t get the role, however; instead she gets lots of trouble.
DeWarner tries to take advantage of Felicia on the preverbal casting couch. When Felicia tires to run, DeWarner rips her dress and Felicia stumbles towards the door. She is almost free when she hears a gunshot. She turns to find DeWarner shot dead, bleeding onto the carpet.
She runs home to her room at The Pacific Breeze Hotel. The hotel has seen better days, but Felicia is not able to afford better. It’s here that Detective Sean O’Rourke finds her. He is immediately taken with her beauty and his partner, Sean Nolan, wonders if O’Roukre has fallen in love at first sight.
O’Roukre denies this, of course and tries to get Felicia’s side of the story. She tells O’Roukre of the shooting, of fleeing the scene because she was afraid. And O’Roukre believes her. Together, they begin to search for a killer while fighting the ever growing passion that is growing between them.
But they are in more danger than they realize. The killer knows that Felicia was there at the time of the shooting and may have seen something she does not remember. The killer begins to stalk them and soon our hero’s are in a race against time, before their time runs out…
I love old style mysteries. Pacific Breeze Hotel put me in mind of a 1940’s mystery right away and the setting was the perfect backdrop for murder, revenge, lies and tons of passion. It’s a well written mystery with tons of romance thrown in, so it should please fans of either genre.
I can’t say it’s the best written book I’ve ever read, but it was a damn good read. Felicia as our heroine was strong willed, strong minded and one smart cookie; these are all fantastic things. There was just one small problem. I found her naiveté a little grating. Aside from that, she was a great leading lady.
O’Rourke was a great leading man who tried to run away from love only to find it staring him in the face. The two of them together are a powerhouse and their passion heated up the page. I loved how flawed both of these characters were, how they hid their secrets only to have to deal with them head on.
The writing was clean and crisp and Pacific Breeze Hotel moved along at breakneck speed. Before I knew it, I was finished this novel and left wanting more. The story put me in mind of a black and white Hitchcock film; this book had atmosphere and brought the 1940’s to life, something that is hard to do and not many authors are able to accomplish this task.
If you want to read a really good mystery, one that sinks its teeth into you and doesn’t go, you’ll want to read Pacific Breeze Hotel. You’ll laugh, gasp and yes, maybe even tear up a little. It’s a fantastic read and I know I’ll be reading more of Okuly’s work. I only hope she can write fast enough.
Four out of Five Hotels!
Reviewed for The Gotta Write Network. Click here to visit their site.