Noir Night, The Last Bookstore, Tuesday, 11. June 2019

Join local authors Doug Cooper, Erik Tarloff, Frank Strausser, Sean Carswell, and Phoeff Sutton for a night of quintessential LA noir mystery. Authors will be presenting their own work as well answering any and all noir questions. Sponsored by The Last Bookstore in cooperation with Prospect Park Books and Rare Bird Lit.

Focus Lost by Doug Cooper:
The line between passion and obsession runs through us all. Levi Combs never planned to rocket to stardom. Eva Florez knew he would the moment she saw him. Gabe Adams didn’t want anything to do with celebrities.
But after Gabe’s sister sells his photos of Levi with a young starlet to a tabloid website, their lives become intertwined forever, bound by rage and retribution.
Blending the nuance and insight of literary fiction with the big-screen magic of a Hollywood thriller, Focus Lost whisks readers into a world of temptation, indulgence, and revenge, daring them to take a **** of the forbidden fruit.
The Woman in Black by Erik Tarloff:
Chance Hardwick, the fictitious star of the breakout film Plains and Hills, is widely considered the greatest, most charismatic young movie actor of the postwar generation. However, his meteoric rise to fame and his tragic demise have remained an inexplicable puzzle to all who knew him, as well as to his millions of fans around the world.
But all these years later, famed producer and film historian Gordon Frost has gathered Chance’s family, friends, lovers, and colleagues―all the people who loved and loathed him―to tell his story and try to come to terms with the elusive, unknowable figure who continues to haunt their lives. The oral history he’s pieced together uncovers the secret life of one of America’s premier talents. From Chance’s humble Midwestern beginnings, to his time in New York as an acting student, and finally his turn as a Hollywood icon, all the pieces fit together―or so it would seem.
But who is Chance Hardwick really? And moreover, who is the mysterious woman watching over his grave each year on the anniversary of his death?
Narratively inventive and always engaging, The Woman in Black spans America in the 1950s in its exploration of film, fame, and how well we ever really know each other.
Plastic by Frank Strausser:
When a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon is brought in to surgically erase evidence of a crime after a beautiful pop star suffers a disfiguring assault, he does the one thing a doctor shouldn’t, he begins to care.
Elvis. Jim Morrison. Marilyn Monroe. They're all frozen in time. Beautiful. At their peak. Well, what if they'd never actually died? What if they were sitting on a beach somewhere still collecting royalties? Plastic is a novel of psychological suspense about some desperate Hollywood image makers who conspire to do the ultimate cover up. After Fay Wray, a ravishingly beautiful nineteen-year-old pop star endures a vicious, disfiguring sexual assault, Dr. Harry Previn, a celebrated Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, is brought in to repair her **** and thus surgically erase evidence of a crime. When he fails, a conspiracy ensues to fake her death in return for Jim Morrison-like immorality, but of course if she's dead, she can't press criminal charges. For Previn, beauty has become a life or death proposition because his patients are literally dying to be a beautiful. He's already lost one high profile patient under murky circumstances that still haunts him and have exposed him to blackmail. Will he chance yet another death, even if it's figurative? Plastic explores the ephemeral world of celebrity and beauty at the intersection of Hollywood and rock 'n roll.
Dead Extra by Sean Carswell:
After being reported as dead in a German POW camp, former cop Jack Chesley returns to Los Angeles in 1946 very much alive, only to discover that his wife is dead—and her twin sister insists that it wasn’t an accident. They set out to find her killer, a journey that takes them from the Hollywood studios and the boozy back corners of Musso & Frank to a Camarillo mental hospital and a shabby motel where blackmailers shoot dirty movies. In the spirit of such noir masters as Cain and Chandler, Dead Extra explores new shadows on the seedy side of midcentury Southern California.
Colorado Boulevard by Phoef Sutton:
When Zerbe, the honorary brother (and roommate) of LA’s toughest bodyguard/bouncer, Crush, is kidnapped, Crush springs into action to save him. Unraveling the mystery takes him to Zerbe’s estranged billionaire father, who’s obsessed with building California’s long-promised bullet train, as well as to Pasadena’s famed Rose Parade along Colorado Boulevard. This third installment in the Crush series (both of which were Kirkus Best Mysteries of the Year) is full of action, humor, and mystery.

Doug Cooper is the author of the award-winning novels Outside In and The Investment Club. Always searching, he has traveled to over twenty-five countries on five continents, exploring the contradictions between what we believe and how we act in the pursuit of truth, beauty, and love. Originally from Port Clinton, Ohio, he has also called Cleveland, St. Louis, Detroit, New York, Las Vegas, and Oslo, Norway home. Focus Lost is his third novel.
Erik Tarloff has written for the stage, the screen (both large and small), and publications like Slate, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, Prospect, Vogue, and many others. He contributed to speeches by Bill Clinton and Al Gore. He currently lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, economist Laura Tyson. This is his fourth novel.
Frank Strausser came of age as a producer, playwright, and novelist while living in The Capital of Good Looks. His plays have been produced in LA, London’s West End, and Off Broadway. His critically acclaimed first play The Powder Room, about a reverse gender-bias incident in a so-called “safe space”, starred Academy Award best actress nominee Sally Kirkland. Most recently audience favorite Psycho Therapy about couples therapy for three had a thirteen week run Off Broadway at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre. Broadway World called it, “A must see! Smart script. Hilarious.” Plastic is his debut novel.
Sean Carswell is the author of several trade books, including Drinks for the Little Guy, Train Wreck Girl, Madhouse Fog, and The Metaphysical Ukulele, and the academic book Occupy Pynchon. He co-founded the independent book publisher Gorsky Press and the music magazine Razorcake. His writing has appeared in such diverse places as the skateboarding magazine Thrasher, tiny ‘zines like Zisk, prestigious literary journals like The Southeastern Review and The Rattling Wall, and peer-reviewed journals like The Journal of American Culture. A resident of Ventura, he is an associate professor of writing and literature at California State University Channel Islands.
Phoef Sutton is a New York Times–bestselling novelist, television writer, and playwright whose work has won two Emmys, a Peabody, a Writers Guild Award, a GLAAD Award, and a Television Academy Honors Award. All three novels in the Crush series, Crush, Heart Attack and Vine, and Colorado Boulevard were Kirkus Best Mysteries of the Year. Crush was also a Los Angeles Times “Summer Reading Page-Turner” and Heart Attack and Vine was a "Ten Best Mystery of 2016" for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Sutton has been an executive producer of Cheers, a writer/producer for such shows as Boston Legal and NewsRadio, a writer for Terriers, the writer of six TV movies for Hallmark Movies and Mystery Channel including the Darrow & Darrow series, and the creator of several TV shows including the cult hit Thanks. He is also the co-author, with Janet Evanovich, of two New York Times best sellers, Curious Minds and Wicked Charms. His other novels include the supernatural ghost story From Away and the romantic thriller 15 Minutes to Live. Sutton lives with his wife and two daughters in South Pasadena, California, and Vinalhaven, Maine. Learn more at
All events are subject to cancellation, so please check back.

Tuesday, 11. June 2019, The Last Bookstore, Noir Night

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