"I love the gothic nature of Hollywood," admits mystery novelist Lindsay Maracotta as she takes in a view of the basin from her Moorish-influenced Hollywood Hills home. "And I am equally bemused by the domestic life of entertainment people who send their children to Fiji for field trips and still think they're leading perfectly normal, family-centered lives."
Once again Maracotta has exposed her bemusement at the tribal rituals of this small city-state in the second installment of her Lucy Freers series, "The Dead Celeb" (Morrow), which has already been snatched up by a Paramount producer.
After a decade as a screenwriter, Maracotta shifted into mystery writing because it allowed her to address "social commentary without being didactic." Some friends have been offended by her portrayal of their lives, "but, oddly, they tend to be people I didn't even have in mind. And egos are so huge in this town, people will see themselves no matter what you write."
Maracotta treads heavily on soil that was once the province of Cain, Chandler and Nathanael West, now inhabited by James Ellroy and Stuart Kaminsky, among others. But Maracotta has tried to keep her cynicism to a minimum, favoring instead an acerbic tone.