I have not read the first book in this series and I still was able to understand and enjoy MURDER AMONG THE STARS. The authors repeat the relevant information from the first novel, so I never felt confused. With that being said, it did take me a few pages to get into the world. Many characters are introduced right away, but contrarily, the time period of the story is not mentioned until later. As a result, I had to pick up on dialogue clues to sense that this wasn’t present day. Had I known the main characters and the date, I would have been able to jump in quicker. Yet, once I developed a clear picture in my head, the pace began to pick up.
Choosing to set a story during Hollywood’s Golden Age is tricky, mainly because the attitudes and prejudices towards women and minorities were even more pronounced and extreme, particularly in Tinseltown. Sullivan and Shankman do a great job here at being true to the era without sugarcoating reality, but instead countering it with a protagonist who does not share the limiting beliefs of her peers. Consequently, Lulu, the main character, has a very contemporary appeal.
Overall, the book is fluffy, entertaining fun with a good twist at the end that I found pleasantly surprising. Those who are fans of the Amazon Series, THE LAST TYCOON, will enjoy MURDER AMONG THE STARS.