Nostalgia Kills

A Left-Handed Policeman Mystery

What if the greatest American rock star of the sixties, drowned in his bathtub seventeen years ago, did not accidentally die of a drug overdose but was murdered? Now, a new murder in Beverly Hills leaves blues-playing police lieutenant Nicky Rachmaninoff haunted by what really happened. The provocative and murderously profitable world of California rock is the setting for Nostalgia Kills by Robert Westbrook, author of The Left-Handed Policeman.

After top video-jockey Jay Jeffries is found murdered and mutilated in his Bev­erly Hills mansion, Nicky Rachmaninoff finds himself in the middle of a bloody scan­dal. Jeffries was a member of the radical sixties rock group The Perceptions, whose lead singer Billy Lion died mysteriously in Rome at the height of his fame. Someone is out to kill all the surviving band members, now successful music promoters at The Rock Channel.

Nicky's investigation is complicated by his precocious young daughter, Tanya, and by an entanglement with his ex-wife, TV star Susan Merril. But he uncovers a trail of murder that leads him to music broadcast studios, a bordello, a Malibu beach house, a sailboat off the coast of Hawaii, and ulti­mately—in a scene of mayhem and potential murder—the Grammy Awards.

Everyone seems to want The Perceptions dead, including the band members them­selves: lecherous guitarist Rick Elsmore, scheming businessman Bo Daniels, and the bitterly betrayed Donny Meredith. Others with stakes in the outcome include mobster Bushy di Sutro; Susan's husband, Frank Fee, a famous actor; nymphet VJ Unity Sphere; a punk rock music group called Public Tele­phone; groupie/housemaid Nancy Normal; and a mysterious, deadly voice that calls itself The Ghost of Rock and Roll.

The sixties meet the eighties in Nostalgia Kills, as sixties veteran Nicky Rachmaninoff races against time to rescue not just The Perceptions but rock and roll, past and pre­sent, in this colorful, funny, and gripping story of murder.

"IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT TIME TO VISIT LOS ANGELES COUNTY'S TONIEST CITY, WESTBROOK'S NOVEL IS THE NEXT BEST THING. Westbrook, the son of former Hollywood gossip columnist Sheilah Graham knows the police and he know's Southern California, from the back alleys of Beverly Hills to the Salton Sea." —Philadelphia Inquirer
Can Hollywood's rich and famous find hap­piness in the Third World—or will they find only murder? That's the question that blues-playing police lieutenant Nicky Rachmaninoff must answer in Robert Westbrook's third book in The Left-Handed Policeman series, Lady Left.

Having exposed the Hollywood dream ma­chine and the world of rock and roll in his previous two mysteries, Robert Westbrook now gives the same delightfully satirical treat­ment to another hot topic on the Hollywood scene: fashionable leftist politics. Nicky Rach­maninoff must take on Tinsel Town's liberal elite as it involves itself in a wild scheme to make the hemisphere safe for romance, revo­lution, and beautiful people everywhere.

A reluctant Nicky is persuaded to "vacation" in Nicaragua by his loving ex-wife, Susan Merril, who is determined to shed her glamour-girl image by becoming a leftist activist. The vaca­tion goes wrong from the start: Nicky's feisty Bev­erly Hills daughter, fourteen-year-old Tanya, falls madly in love with a Nicaraguan soldier; and a far-left Hollywood professor, Cory Heard, introduces Nicky to a complicated scam that maybe—just maybe—is intended to bring the Sandinistas hack into power.

But when Cory Heard is apparently mur­dered at the site of the late dictator Somoza’s buried treasure, Nicky must put down his margarita in favor of a gun and mineral water, as he uncovers a trail that leads him back to Bev­erly Hills—and into the arms of Cory's activist wife, the film superstar Katherine Hall. She is dark, passionate, devious, and out for Nicky, one way or another; she is the alluring and dangerous Lady Left.

Nothing in Hollywood or the Third World is what it seems. From the jungles of Nicara­gua to the elegant homes of Beverly Hills and the palatial desert estates of Palm Springs, Lady Left is a darkly comic, intricate, and suspenseful story of what happens when glamour, murder, and politics mix.
Robert Westbrook

Author of the Howard Moon Deer Mysteries

"The battle of wits and nerves that unfolds in this expertly paced novel as Nicky struggles to snare the serial killer, keep his job, and juggle an increasingly complex love life make for compelling reading . . . In Nicky Rachmaninoff [Robert Westbrook has] created one of the most engaging new detective heroes since Joseph Wambaugh got philosophical. About the only thing that cushions the disappointment of coming to the end of this page-turner is the knowledge that there's a sequel in the works." —Wall Street Journal

Murder in Beverly Hills

A killer is on the loose in Beverly Hills. Late at night, as moguls, starlets, actors, and rock stars head home after a night on the town, a Corvette pulls up beside a Rolls-Royce at a traffic light. A gun goes off—and another of Hollywood's elite lies dead.

Beverly Hills cowers in terror. It's up to Police Lt. Nicky Rachmaninoff—reluctant cop, ex-hippie, divorced father, and the mean­est left-handed jazz pianist in all L.A.—to trap the murderer before he dispatches all of South­ern California's rich and famous. It's an assign­ment Nicky is reluctant to take on: He'd rather play the piano, worry about his love life, or gaze at the stars above his Hollywood Hills bungalow than search out a serial killer.

Nicky's ex-wife, the beautiful blond star of TV's "Cassie and the Cop," suddenly wants Nicky back. But Nicky finds himself caught up with the lovely and well-heeled widow of one of the murder victims—even as he thinks he really does love his ex-wife.

But someone else loves "Cassie," too. His name is Lawrence Ferguson and he is a nobody. After being diagnosed as terminally ill, Law­rence quits his job, withdraws his life savings, moves to the Beverly Hills Hotel . . . and buys himself a Corvette. And Lawrence has decided to exercise his final fantasy on the woman whose television image he has long worshiped. Can Nicky stop him in time?

The Left-Handed Policeman is a gripping novel of life—and death—among the big names and the nameless of Beverly Hills. Nov­elist Robert Westbrook—himself the son of a famous Hollywood personality—explores the boulevards and back alleys, the myths and real­ities, of the greatest, most deadly dream factory of all: Hollywood.
Book Two in Robert Westbrook's epic "Hollywood Noir" Torch Singer Thriller series.

“An Almost Perfect Ending ranks alongside the best Hollywood noir. It takes the reader on a journey which leads relentlessly towards a final, fatal conclusion.”
Daily Mail

Book Two, An Almost Perfect Ending opens with sultry heroine Sonya Saint-Amant at the height of her career—a glittering, triumphant appearance at Ciro’s, the clubhouse for the stars in 1950s Hollywood where everyone wants to claim her as their friend.

But in 1954, popular music is undergoing a revolution in which all but the biggest stars will be cast aside. With her looks and popularity fading, Sonya believes she has come up with the perfect plan to save her career . . . if only she can maneuver a tricky path through the many dangers that beset her, a vortex of politics, sex, blackmail, and murder . . .

“Pacy and unstoppable, the second book in the The Torch Singer series takes over where the first left off, grabbing your wrist, tugging you along, refusing to let go.”
Evening Standard

“The Torch Singer exposes the fragility of fame. The higher the edifice the greater the risk that some element of deep-set animal emotion or human baseness will bring everything crashing down . . . and watching it happen is not just compulsive—it’s addictive and unmissable.”
Event Magazine

“Robert Westbrook is a born storyteller and a bit of a magician.”
Ally Sheedy

Ambition, blackmail, murder . . . THE TORCH SINGER is an unforgettable journey through the shadowlands of fame.

Intimate Lies

Her Son's Story

F. Scott Fitzgerald, the brilliant author of The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night, was a man haunted by failure to live up to his own early successes. In 1937, desperate for money, nearly broken in spirit, he headed west for work as a Hollywood screenwriter and one last shot at staying sober There, living in Hollywood's legendary hotel, The Garden of Allah, Fitzgerald met the beautiful young gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, whose elaborate pose as a British aristocrat masked the true identity that haunted her all her life. Before her death in 1988, Graham bequeathed a Pandoras box of papers, diaries, notes, and correspondence to her son, acclaimed novelist Robert Westbrook with explicit instructions to write the full story of her life with Fitzgerald, which she herself could not tell. The result is Intimate Lies—the dramatic tale of an unusual love affair the turbulent romance between a great author at the end of his life and a false young woman escaping her past, set against the glittering ferment of 1930s Hollywood.

"I was prepared to suffer any ordeal rather than reveal the truth about myself," Sheilah Graham wrote in 1958. Running from a childhood in the squalor of London's East End, desperate to hide her lack of education, Graham reinvented herself out of sheer imagination, spinning a web of daydreams and lies to those around her. But she was unable to conceal her true identity from Fitzgerald for long; he was fascinated by her mysterious past and quickly uncovered her secrets. Despite pressures of money and dwindling time, Fitzgerald set out to play Pygmalion, creating for Sheilah a fanciful "College of One.” Later he made her the heroine of his final novel, The Last Tycoon. Sheilah, in turn, instinctively understood Fitzgerald’s demons and cared for him with a survivor's strength as he alternated between wildly spectacular drunken episodes and quiet, doomed gallantry. Together they sought refuge in Hollywood, among such friends as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley John O'Hara, and Ogden Nash.

With Intimate Lies, Robert Westbrook brings a personal perspective and a sure writer's hand to this mesmerizing memoir, an unforgettable love story of unrelenting power and interest.

Praise for Intimate Lies

“The mood should be two people—free— He has an overwhelming urge toward the girl who promises to give life back to him . . . she is the heart of hope and freshness.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, notes for The Last Tycoon

“I was prepared to suffer any ordeal rather than reveal the truth about myself I thought, he has chosen me, I want him to be proud of the woman he has chosen. He must never feel that his girl is in reality a grubby little waif who has gotten to him by a series of deceptions.”—Sheilah Graham, writing in 1958
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