Book of the Day

Cast the First Stone by James W. Ziskin / Reviewed by Lia Farrell

Cast the First Stone

By James W. Ziskin

Seventh Street Books
ISBN 978-1633882812
Available  06/06/2017

Pre-order  here!

Cast the First Stone

Killer Nashville Review by Lia Farrell

It’s 1962 and Ellie Stone—girl reporter for the local paper in the small town of New Holland, N.Y.—gets a big break when she’s sent to Los Angeles to interview hometown hero, Tony Eberle. Tony has landed a big role in a real Hollywood movie, a fact which has generated a swell of pride throughout the town.

Undaunted, Ellie gets the actor’s address and sets out to conduct her interview. But Tony isn’t home when Ellie arrives. After a series of missed connections, Ellie is forced to give up the hunt and try again in the morning. She soon learns that her simple interview is anything but when a well-known movie producer—Bertram Wallis—turns up dead. The producer is believed to have fallen victim to foul play, and the missing Tony Eberle is the primary person-of-interest

Interestingly, both the movie’s director and his “fixer” are also searching for Tony. Their motivation is unclear, but Ellie suspects it might involve some missing photographs last seen in Wallis’ home or possibly a missing movie script. In her search for Tony, Ellie is propositioned by a woman and  men, continually lied to, and even evicted from a bar.

Cast the First Stone contains more twists and turns than the hairpin curves on North Canyon Road, the treacherous path near the late producer’s home. Wallis’ well-publicized parties were more orgy than cocktail party and included underage boys. These facts alone are horrifying to sheltered young Ellie, but she’s not dissuaded from continuing her search for Tony. Ellie is motivated by her zeal to find the actor and, if possible, to get his job back for him.

In this treacherous world of Hollywood wannabes, panderers, and pornographers, Ellie carries on—unearthing secrets no one wants revealed. Will she find Tony? And, if she does, what truth will she uncover? These and other mysteries carry Ziskin’s story to a satisfying conclusion borne along on his clever and incisive writing.

Cast the First Stone is the fifth book in the Ellie Stone Mystery series.

Lia Farrell is the author of the Mae December mystery series.