Dream Town by David Baldacci is a good old fashionned detective novel set in 1953 Hollywood. If you like a whodunit with a complex plot and characters you are going to love Dream Town. Baldacci’s take on Hollywood in the fifties is quite refreshing and a great part of this mystery novel’s charm.

It is New Year’s Eve 1953. Archer is accompanying sort of girlfriend and actress Liberty Callaghan around the various parties where she needs to be seen. At one such gathering they meet writer Eleanor Lamb who hires Archer to look into strange incidents. When a body is found at Lamb’s home and Lamb vanishes, her boss Cecily Ransome (an Ida Lupino type character) hires him to look into Lamb’s disappearance. A nefarious Chinatown club has something to do with the case.

Where Dream Town stands out is there are many powerful women in this Hollywood. This is a nice change of take on fifties American cinema lore.

Being an impatient reader, I found David Baldacci’s Dream Town to be spinning its wheels a bit with a few chapters that do little to move the plot on. Not that this mystery novel is not enjoyable, it is, very, but I could have done with a little less plodding along.

The ending moves at a very quick pace and the solve is complex but well revealed.

Aloysius Archer aka Archer is on his third adventure in David Baldacci’s Dream town. You do not need to have read the previous two mysteries One Good Deed and Gambling Man to enjoy Dream Town but having done so allows the reader to understand Archer and his love interest, actress Liberty Callahan. They are also both excellent mystery novels.

Dream Town
David Baldacci
Grand Central Publishing 2022
422 pages

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