Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Secret Agent #48

TITLE: The Gatsby Game
GENRE: Mystery

Some people still think I'm a terrible person because I didn't call the police right away. If I had, we might have avoided one of Hollywood's ten most notorious sex scandals, and I wouldn't have spent a lifetime living down the whole "killer nanny" thing.

But seriously, when I saw Alistair lying on the floor of Delia Kent's motel room that night in 1973, I had no clue I was looking at a corpse. The room was dark, and I didn't see any blood on that brown shag carpet. I thought Alistair was sleeping off the Mandrax he'd stolen from Delia's medicine cabinet.

I admit the floor of your boss's motel room is not the place most people would choose to take a nap, but Alistair Milbourne was nothing like most people--people outside of a Fitzgerald novel anyway.

Besides, I'd have been insane to wake him. He might have started throwing me around the room the way he'd done to Delia earlier that night.

For those of you too young to remember, this took place during the filming of Guido Malatesta's Oscar-winning opus "The Vast Inland Sea," in the California oil town of Taft, previously known as Moron.

Really. I'm not making up a word of this. You can read it all in Delia's bio on Wikipedia. But of course it won't tell you the whole story.

That's because I'm the only one who knows the truth.

12 comments:

Empress Awesome said...

I will ignore the fact that I hate hate HATE The Great Gatsby and say that this is interesting and cool. Although it seems a little weird that she wouldn't check on the guy-- how does she know what happened to him, she wasn't even there. If she knew it was the bosses room I would think she would go over to him and try to wake him, spare him some embarrassment, you know? But that's just me.

Anyhoos, the writing is good, and I'd like to know what happens next, which is a good sign. Sweet.

matril said...

Yeah, I'm definitely hooked, and I'm not a Great Gatsby fan either (or a particular reader of murder mysteries!). I love the narrator's tone, and the dark humor of her not assuming he was dead is fun. There's plenty of little teases planted here, each demanding further explanation. Great work!

Anonymous said...

Love this one! It's fun and fast moving, and the narrator sounds like someone I'd enjoy spending time with--which is so important in a first-person tale.

LTM said...

Lurv! Funny and engaging. Made me think of L.A. Confidential. The fifth 'graph was a bit jarring, so perhaps rework the intro. But this is very well-done.

Best~ :o) <3

Critter Cat said...

Hooked! I loved the last line especially. "killer nanny" made me smile, though it did surprise me to find out the year was 1973. The phrase just sounded more modern.

tarak said...

I loved this. My only quibble is with the feel of it. When it starts, I think noir. But the year 1973 threw me. And as Critter Cat stated, "killer nanny" seems more modern. But I love the flow of the narration. But I'm hooked and would read on.

Gaultier Malde said...

Hooked! Sounds like exactly the kind of novel I'd like to read and I love the narrator's voice. One quibble: the phrase "That whole killer nanny thing" and the casual reference to Wikipedia read like what a young, slangy, tech-savvy character would say, not someone who is (presumably) 60ish. Could just be my personal preference. Love this overall, though!

Toni Kenyon said...

I enjoyed this, it has a great feel. The little quibbles have been dealt with in previous posts. I would read on, even though I don't care much for mystery. Well done.

Pamelot said...

Fun! I'm not crazy about this kind of opening, I like to be "in the story". But I would still keep reading b/c of the humor in the tone. I'm a sucker for humor. Not a Fitzgerald fan, but it seems that the Fitzgerald references are humorous and somewhat ironic here, and that I can buy into.

macaronipants said...

I loved this. Another one I wish I could buy right now and settle in with by the fire. The only thing that threw me was, "for those of you too young to remember, this took place..." what took place? Is it the murder? Just a bit of clarity and you're good to go.

Barbara said...

What a great opening! And lots of little teasers to give us hints of where this will go and that lure me in. The writing's clean and well done, the narrator is believable, and she seems to have one heck of a story to tell. Totally hooked!

Secret Agent said...

Very strong opening, voice, and writing. Someone's going to pick this up and make it happen, if it's this strong all the way through. I'd read more--but I don't represent a lot of mysteries, so I'd probably leave this to a more suitable agent.