Close Up by Kit Sloane: Mystery Book Review/Giveaway

Mar 17, 2012 | 2012 Articles, Deborah Harter Williams, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Deborah Harter Williams

Details on how to win a copy of Close Up at the end of this review.

Close–Up is the latest book detailing the exploits of Margot O’Banion film editor, and director Max Skull. This is the ninth in the series from Kit Sloane, who wrote the first installment Final Cut almost 12 years ago. Now Max and Margot have their own M2 studios and a grown-up son named Luis. Their current film in progress is–The Dead, A Zombie Love Story.

After seeing an old actress on the news, Max decides to hire her for a bit part in his movie. She is dazzling on film and he plans to expand her role only to have her fall dead in her garden. Circumstances suggest foul play.

Who dunnit? Well the make-up artist stands to inherit, and her ex-husband is the cinematographer. Seems she also had a relationship with a college friend of Margot and Max’s who goes missing after the murder. Hollywood is a small town and all these interrelationships spin the story into multiple sub-plots.

Sloane dishes up tinsel town in a light cozy way. There is the glamour and the money-grubbing, the competition and jealousy among the up-and-coming, the has-beens and the wannabes. Assistants will be abused; careers will be made and ruined. Margot’s world is a bit more civilized and polite than your standard Hollywood potboilers. And Margot, herself, is not prone to histrionics. Her response when hearing about someone receiving a death threat–“Oh, dear, that certainly isn’t very nice.”

What I like about Sloane’s protagonist is that she uses her skills as an editor to collect pieces of the puzzle–putting them together like sequences in a film with no script. She looks at pictures from a scrapbook and sees a clue in the eyebrows. She views footage from the film and recognizes someone in the scene who shouldn’t be there. I have always thought that film editors see faster and in more detail than the rest of us. Following Margot allows us to share that special point of view, plus get a fun inside look at the movie making process with a side of zombies.

To enter to win a copy of Close Up, simply email KRL at with the subject line “Close”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 24, 2012. U.S. residents only.

Check out an earlier interview with Kit here in KRL.

Deborah Harter Williams works as a mystery scout, seeking novels that could be made into television. She blogs at Clue Sisters and was formerly a mystery bookstore owner.


  1. Thanks, Deborah, for the smart review. It’s really a pleasure when a reviewer “gets” my characters, especially Margot. A behind-the-scenes aside, I got the idea for Close-up from photographer David LaChapelle. My daughter, Annie Sperling, (who also does all my covers) is David’s production designer and this allows us access to his shoots. One day he commented, when his makeup artist raced up and complained that the model was already made up when she arrived, that he knew that. He recognized that so-and-so had made her up by the model’s eyebrow.
    Wow, I thought, great detail! And 70,000 words later, I had a story!

  2. I love Kit Sloane’s books! I am really looking forward to reading this one!

  3. Great review! I thought Kit’s comment about how she brought in the ‘eyebrow’ detail was a terrific behind the scenes glimpse of how she works her plots. LOVE all Kit’s books – waiting anxiously for the next one!

  4. I enjoyed the review and the fact that the character uses her existing skills to solve mysteries.

  5. I’ve enjoyed the Margot and Max books for some time. Glad to hear that there is another one coming. Much success, Kit.

  6. Thanks, Margaret and Sarah,

    I’ve always loved “behind-the-scenes” stories and realize that those are what I write. In my last one, THE MAGICIANS, I went behind the scenes for reality TV. That was certainly an eye-opener! And in THE FAT LADY SINGS, I did the same for a light opera production putting on a Gilbert and Sullivan show and Margot directs it. Fun to write and engrossing to research.



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