Margit Liesche packs a lot of history into her World War II Hollywood spy mystery, as Nazi agents, Hungarian expatriates, and movie folks disport themselves in 1940s tinsel town. Pucci Lewis, fresh from espionage exploits in Detroit, is detailed to advise the production of a Victory film short about the Women Air Force Service Pilot (WASP) program of civilian female flyers who transport aircraft for the military. A WASP herself, and an investigator, Pucci is the perfect candidate to become immersed in the wartime movie business and to do a bit of undercover work as well.
The second-rate director hired for the film is in fact taking a rather sexist and demeaning tone, and there are odd things happening on the set, including pranks with a sinister slant. Among the characters Pucci encounters are an oddball foreign newsstand operator, a junkie writer, a blackmailed producer, and Bela Lugosi, who keeps drifting in and out of the plot.
Hollywood Buzz is great fun and a worthy follow-up to Lipstick and Lies, Liesche's first Pucci Lewis book. Her attention to the historical detail gives the novel a resonance beyond the often veneer-thin handful of references, and her tough-minded heroine proves a credible protagonist. One wonders where she will turn up next.