Cast The First Stone by James W. Ziskin

Cast The First Stone by James W. Ziskin

FB91F0CC-23DA-43C1-A1D7-A49719313CDCThank you to Seventh Street Books and Prometheus books for the free copy of Cast The First Stone in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis from Amazon:

Tony Eberle has just scored his first role in a Hollywood movie, and the publisher of his hometown newspaper in upstate New York wants a profile of the local boy who’s made good. Reporter Ellie Stone is dispatched to Los Angeles for the story. But when she arrives on set to meet her subject, Tony has vanished. His agent is stumped, the director is apoplectic, and the producer is dead. Murdered.

Ellie is on the story, diving headfirst into a treacherous demimonde of Hollywood wannabes, beautiful young men, desperately ambitious ingénues, panderers, and pornography hobbyists. Then there are some real movie stars with reputations to protect. To find the killer, Ellie must separate the lies from the truth, unearthing secrets no one wants revealed along the way. But before she can solve Bertram Wallis’s murder, she must locate Tony Eberle

My Review:

This novel was simply perfection!  I loved every single aspect of it, and will therefore break each part of it down for you:

Setting: 1960’s Hollywood, actors, big-wig producers, movie sets, A-lister modern homes in the hills. I mean Come. ON! I love this era and I loved this setting, it created such a fun little get away for my reading life!

Characters: Of course, Ellie is the best part of the whole book. She is whip smart with killer sarcasm and gladly takes the flak from her male counterparts because she is better at her job then they are and she knows it. My kind of gal! She is a strong female character in an era when that was extremely uncommon. But she wears her independence like a tailor made suit and she is so easy to love!

The supporting characters in Cast The First Stone are perfect for the setting: tantrum throwing directors, powerful executives and bristly receptionists. Add in a few Hollywood reporters that Ellie meets along the way and the cast perfectly supports the setting and the plot.

Plot: Ellie arrives in Hollywood to interview a young man from her hometown on his first day at a movie set, meant to be his big break.  However, he doesn’t show and no one knows where he is. Then everyone discovers that the producer of said movie is found dead at his home.  Ellie stays one step ahead of everyone else as she struggles to find the actor while still trying to send articles to her publishers that won’t shed the actor in a negative light, at least not until she figures out what the heck is going on.  If only she could find him!

All of the glorious pieces of this novel fit together like a puzzle to create a believable mystery ensconced in a very enjoyable jaunt through the early 1960’s.  I enjoyed every page of this treasure of a book, I give it 5 out of 5 stars!


Side note about reading these books in order: I had read the first book in this series, then skipped ahead to Cast the First Stone because the next installment in this series is coming out very soon. Unfortunately for me, I found out that one of the side characters in this book was a murder suspect in the previous book.  So now there is not point for me to read that book, however I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything while reading Cast, so they can be read as stand-alones, however only if you don’t go backwards in the series, if that makes sense.



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