4 out fo 5 stars for Movie Star Money
“This is an impressive first novel, likely to appeal to mystery fans who like their heroines strong but flawed. Sacha Sanchez earns her living in Chicago in the time-honored profession of picking up and robbing drunks. An unfortunate choice of customer, however—a policeman—soon forces her to get out of town. We see her next in Hollywood, pretending to be an “energy healer.” But when a client of hers, a movie star, is accused of murdering her husband, Sacha feels compelled to find the real killer. Movie Star Money is a good read with a likable heroine, colorful side characters and a picaresque plot. I’m looking forward to seeing what scrapes Sacha gets into in Marguerite Darlington’s next novel.” - Nichola Blake
“So. Much. Fun!!! Darlington does a fabulous job with creating interesting characters, an absorbing plot, in addition to making the ebb and flow of Chicago and LA become characters in the narrative as well. Plus, Darlington succeeds in this first book where many authors struggle: she sets up the structure for a compelling series in an exciting way without making it *seem* like she’s establishing a backstory. Best thing I can say about this book? I missed the characters immediately when I turned the last page and was really disappointed when there wasn’t another book to read!” - Mindy E Fenske
“This was a funny parody of the Hollywood lifestyles as well as an interesting mystery. The characters each cut down the glamorous life and Sacha’s jaundiced point of view keeps it all grounded. Fans of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen will find plenty to love in this new author.” - CB in NOLA
“I really liked the part where the crazy barefoot guy is teaching Sasha about energy healing. It reminded me of a parody of Carlos Castenada’s Don Juan books. The rest of the book is good, but that was my favorite part. I could have read 1000 pages of the half baked jedi training.” - ginsu “ginsu” (tv land)
“The sassy smart-talking Chicago conwoman who outsmarts a manipulative Hollywood murderer stars in a humorous caper novel reminiscent of Donald E. Westlake. The fast-paced story perfectly captures the rootless Los Angeles ambiance, as the plucky heroine strives to find the killer before a flaky movie star is arrested for causing her megastar husband’s death. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” - Storyteller7
What’s this book about, anyway?
Sacha Sanchez didn’t want to leave Chicago, she had to leave. The pick-up-and-rip-off gig she had been running at a bar up on Ashland blew up in her face, so the 23-year-old con artist had to split town before the cops pick her up. Her adopted father and mentor Tomas (a.k.a. Poppa Tom of The Lucky Money Shoppe) packs her off to Los Angeles to lay low with her Aunt Lois.
Sacha does anything but. She starts looking for new ways to hustle pocket change and settles on “energy healing.” Before she knows it, she’s the toast of Hollywood, making house calls to the rich and famous and getting paid like she’s one of them. She thinks she has the world wrapped around her finger until she finds one of her rich and famous clients dead, his wife crouched over him, covered in blood swearing up and down that she didn’t do it.She agrees to help the woman out, try to find out who the real killer is so that her friend doesn’t go up the river for a crime she didn’t commit. Even though she promised her poppa that she would stay out of trouble, Sacha sinks deeper and deeper into the web of Hollywood intrigue that’s spun around this high profile murder.