Pretty City Murder
ACTION CRIME DETECTIVE DRAMA FAMILY MYSTERY RELIGIOUS SUSPENSE/THRILLER
THE BIG SLEEP, A IS FOR ALIBI
LARRY LEAHY: 60S. LEAD. LOYAL AND DEDICATED.
JAMES O'HARA: 60S. OLD FRIEND OF LARRY'S.
FATHER RALPH MACKENZIE: 60S. OLD FRIEND OF LARRY'S.
CORNELIUS MACKENZIE: 60S. OLD FRIEND OF LARRY'S.
PEPPER: 30S. FRONT DESK GIRL AT THE HOTEL.
LAUREN: 60S. LARRY'S WIFE.
Pretty City Murder is the story of three life-long friends, a cop, a priest, and a hotel owner, pitted against each other after the priest's brother is murdered in the hotel where he supervises bellhops.
Target Gender: Universal
San Francisco and Topaz Lake CA
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: Robert E Dunn Publishing
Year Published: 2018
A priest finds his slow-learning brother dead in his hotel apartment. The priest calls his friend, an inspector with the SFPD, who begins investigating the murder by interviewing the hotel owner. Priest, cop, and hotelier have been friends since first grade, but quickly they become adversaries.
Leahy narrows the suspects to one unlikely person, Pepper Chase, hotel clerk, who was in love with the priest's brother, but wrongly thought he was in love with the hotel owner's mistress, which led Pepper to kill the priest's beloved brother.
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Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Language/Profanity, Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity,Substance Abuse
Plot - Other Elements
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Larry Leahy
Key Traits: Faithful, Honorable, Perseverance, Religious, Strong Moral Code, Complex,Religious,Decisive,Masculine,Blunt,Strong Moral Code,Leader,Educated,Aspiring,Aggressive,Confident,Honorable,Empathetic
Additional Character Details
Name: James O'Hara
Key Traits: Confident, Masculine, Educated, Manipulative, Perseverance, Sexy, Unapologetic, Aggressive, Charming,Aggressive,Charming,Criminal,Decisive,Greedy,Educated,Insecure,Leader,Masculine,Villainous,Sexy,Power Hungry,Outspoken,Secretive,Sophisticated,Manipulative,Unapologetic
Additional Character Details
Name: Father Ralph MacKenzie, SJ
Key Traits: Confident, Educated, Leader, Masculine, Unapologetic, Charming,Complex,Faithful,Gracious,Educated,Masculine,Religious,Secretive,Sophisticated
Additional Character Details
Name: Pepper Chase
Key Traits: Uneducated, Clumsy, Complex, Desperate, Flexible, Insecure, Naive, Secretive
ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER
A good cop must solve a murder in which several people he personally knows are suspects. During the investigation he finds a philandering priest, and a lovesick fellow detective all while discovering that his boss is crooked.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes, but the writing seems poor and the description is a little confusing. A little simplifying of some of the sentences could help.
Draw of Story
The pace and dialogue are great.
Some of the dialogue was a little forced but overall it was good.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
It's a fairly good police procedural with lots of interesting human relationship drama.
Yes. Police procedurals are a huge part of the entertainment landscape and millions of people watch them every day.
Maybe - you never know with police dramas. They have been pretty good to Scorsese during awards season.
Similar Films/TV Series
KNIVES OUT, CLUE, COPLAND, LAW AND ORDER
What’s New About the Story
This story has a close-knit, small town feel even though it takes place in a major city. You get a good understanding of the relationships between its main characters.
While there is nothing overtly unique about these characters, they are well written and the format is a proven winner.
Uniqueness of Story
Again, this is a police procedural so it's not rare. But as far as police procedurals go, this is one that could succeed.
Film - Studio, Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming
Police procedural murder mysteries are immensely popular with the general public. This film would have a believable plotline, plenty of decent dialogue, and would move at a good pace. The main characters are believable and the protagonist is likeable. Some of the dialogue could be improved, but not a lot. This book is well suited for an easy screenplay adaptation.
A murder in San Francisco brings three life-long friends into a fierce conflict as each person tries to protect his family's reputation and his own achievements. Nine people tell the story from their points of view. One is the killer.
What We Liked
This was an interesting take on the detective novel in that it told the story from multiple points of view, including suspects, in a way that made it seem like any one of them could be the murderer.
Film: As a film, this would be a classic whodunit mystery blockbuster.
TV: As a television show, this could be an interesting miniseries with each episode revolving around one character's perception of events
Key points: Mystery; Ensemble leads; Plot twist; Dramatic; Family values
It's the 4th of July in San Francisco, and everyone is celebrating. Inspector Larry Leahy is called to investigate the hotel by the owner, James O'Hara, an old friend of Larry's--one of the former employees, Gerald Smith, was fired and showed up anyways. He removes him with the help of a hotel security guard. Pepper, the front desk girl at the hotel, takes dinner upstairs to Cornelius Mackenzie, a mentally challenged bellhop at the hotel who she is in love with. She professes her love to him, but he's scared and doesn't know what to say. A big party is happening downstairs that everyone attends. Pepper gets an email from Cornelius saying he needs $50,000 to pay off a gambling debt. Pepper, wanting to win Cornelius's heart, steals the money from the front desk vault and delivers it to Cornelius's room. Later, Father Ralph, Cornelius's brother and another friend of O'Hara and Leahy, goes to check on his brother and finds him dead alongside a gun.
The police chief puts Inspector Joe Varton on the case, and Leahy is mad that he wasn't put on the case because of his personal relationship with the victim, and gets put on the case as the second lead. They interrogate Pepper, and once she confesses to stealing the $50,000 and James overhears, he fires her. They then interrogate James, who gives Leahy tickets for a trip to Ireland but claims it's not a bribe. James hires Pepper back. James is cheating on his wife with a widower named Maureen; Leahy goes to her house to interview her without letting Varton know. Larry asks her about the gun and if she knows anything--she says she doesn't have a gun, but later reveals that she has been hiding a gun for James. She asks James to take the gun back, but he pressures her into keeping it. The police chief wants to take Larry off the case for his conduct, but he threatens to retire, so he gets to stay on as second.
James purchases land for $50,000 and suspicion gets placed on him, especially once he reveals that he sent Pepper the email from Cornelius's account. Larry thinks that the murderer is Pablo, as his girlfriend, Larissa, was missing a fingernail similar to the one found at the scene, but then Pablo jumps off a bridge, killing himself. Larry arrests O'Hara, but still isn't sure how he could have committed the murder. Larry realizes the fingernail was Pepper's and arrests her. She confesses, and reveals that O'Hara hired Pablo to kill Cornelius but he didn't, and Pepper killed him when the gun went off by mistake.