Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Louise Brooks peers over Hemingway's shoulder

Louise Brooks, or at least a very good likeness of the actress, appears on the cover of a new book, peering over the shoulder of novelist Ernest Hemingway. The book, One True Sentence by Craig McDonald, was released just last week.

Set in Paris in 1924, One True Sentence is a historical and literary pastiche. The publisher describes it thus: "A Moveable Feast meets The Dante Club in this ­­­­exquisite mystery that takes readers from the cafés of Montparnasse, through the historic graveyards of Paris, to the smoky backrooms of bookstores and salons."

The story centers on one "Hector Lassiter, crime novelist and best friend of Ernest Hemingway, [who] is crossing the Pont Neuf when he hears a body fall into the Seine, the first in a string of brutal murders that befall literary magazine editors on both banks of the City of Lights. Eager to solve the mystery, Gertrude Stein gathers the most prominent crime and mystery writers in the city, including Hector and the dark and intriguing mystery novelist Brinke Devlin. Soon, Hector and Brinke are tangled not only under the sheets but in a web of murders, each more grisly than the next, and Hemingway, Hector, and Brinke have to scramble to find the killer before they become the next victims."

I think the cover is attractive, and the book sounds like a fun read. The author, Craig McDonald, is a journalist, editor, and fiction writer. In 2008, his debut novel, Head Games, was nominated for an Edgar and was also a finalist for the Anthony, Gumshoe, and Crimespree awards for best first novel. His previous book is Print the Legend. I've emailed McDonald asking for comment.

And by the way, doesn't the woman to the right of the Eiffel Tower look like actess Lya De Putti ? I think so.

UPDATE 2/23/2011: I heard back from author Craig McDonald. He wrote, "The woman depicted on the cover of the book is an artist's conception of a character in the book who is a mystery writer named Brinke Devlin. Louise is not a character in the book (although I am an admitted fan of Ms. Brooks')."

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