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Bel-Air Dead (Stone Barrington) Hardcover – April 26, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 186 customer reviews
Book 20 of 36 in the Stone Barrington Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Woods's dizzyingly paced 20th Stone Barrington novel (after Strategic Moves) takes the New York attorney to Los Angeles to represent recent widow Arrington Calder, his sometime lover, in her attempts to keep control of Centurion Studios. Barrington undertakes a rapid realignment of Calder's holdings while forming alliances and buying shares to thwart the efforts of Prince Investment's Terry Prince, who wants the prime Bel-Air acreage the studio occupies. The murder of stockholder Jennifer Harris is only the first indication of how rough Prince plays. With longtime pal Dino Bacchetti at his side as well as the mighty resources of Mike Freeman's Strategic Services and Bill Eggers's law firm Woodman & Weld, Barrington matches financial wits with the arrogant Prince. There's cross-pollination with Woods's Ed Eagle series (Santa Fe Edge, etc.) as one of Eagle's nemeses plays a surprising role. Series fans will find Barrington as shrewd, sexy, and glib as ever. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Stuart Woods is the author of more than forty novels, including the New York Times bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. An avid sailor and pilot, he lives in New York City, Florida, and Maine. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Stone Barrington (Book 20)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399157360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399157363
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Schiariti on April 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Am I tiring of the Stone Barrington Novels? Maybe. After several none too stellar offerings Strategic Moves was actually a return to old form, substance over style but it seems the pendulum has begun to swing the other way.

It all starts off when Stone gets a call from his one time girlfriend Arrington Calder...she needs his counsel on some business and as a result he and his friend Dino take Stone's plane out to California. The business deal in question is the proposed sale of Centurion Studios..As it turns out through her late husband, actor Vance Calder, Arrington has a MASSIVE stake in the company..when I say massive I'm saying she's worth over a billion dollars (apparently nearly everyone Stone encounters in this book is a billionaire)...she doesn't want to sell to the shady Mr. Prince who may come from questionable drug cartel money as it so happens, but she'd like to invest the money in something else back home in Virginia...

The novel is really a quest of sorts to save the studio by helping studio exec Rick Barron gather a controlling interest in the studio or at the very least, have the share holders vote against the sale...when long time share holders start to run into certain misfortunes, things get dicey for Stone and the gang..

This really isn't a thriller as not very much happens in the way of the crimes committed against some of the share holders...it's not really a mystery either because the parties responsible for any wrong doing are patently obvious so there's not much left to wonder about...'whodunit' is pretty obvious...

The book really seems to be about Stone doing deals for rich people, primarily Arrington...selling this to buy that, buying an airplane, investing lots of money, cashing big checks...
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Format: Hardcover
This is the type of book you read when you want a fast read with action and some sexual innuendo but not too much required thinking. It's not The Brothers Karamazov, but it's a fun, well-written 280 pages.

Plot goes something like this: after an old actor in So Cal dies, he leaves his widow stock in Centurion Studios, which is located in lovely Bel Air. The widow, Arrington asks heron again off again lover and father of her kid Stone Barrington (really Arrington/Barrington?) to help her protect the property from a sleazy investment banker Prince who wants the property the centurion is on.

After a stockholder gets killed and Barrington assumes it's related, the story starts to get going. It's a quick read and not too much fluff, which I like. If you like this style but want more espionage, try The Sixth Man, more politics try the excellent Gods of Ruin
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Format: Hardcover
Reads like a high schooler wrote it. Full of cliches and filler. If Woods really wrote it he should be ashamed of himself.
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Format: Hardcover
In the beginning, Stuart Woods wrote fine stuff. Chiefs was a superb book, and his early Stone Barrington and Holly Barker novels were excellent. Then it all went to pot, Stone wandering around, meeting gorgeous women who have sex with him ten minutes after meeting him, and of course they're all rich.

There is no tension in this book, and plenty of gaping plot holes. The head of Centurion Studios meets Stone and Dino for the first time, is perfectly well aware one of them is a police officer and the other used to be, and what does he do? He reminisces about a murder he committed in a previous Stuart Woods novel! If he's that dumb, or at least that senile, he deserves to lose the shareholder vote.

In addition, why does Centurion Studios have a Western town on its back lot? It's been decades since the Western genre was popular enough to justify that sort of expense.

My advice. Don't contribute to this vampire's bloated coffers. Save your money.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read every Stuart Woods novel and have enjoyed them. I am not sure that I will bother with another.

Private jets, $250 million homes, bed hopping with beautiful actresses and a NYPD homicide detective along for the ride. I thought it was poorly written, boring, frivolous, nonsense. I didn't finish this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read many Stone novels. Some were fantastic, others were a bit predictable but good reads -- this one was neither. I picked it up at the store while on vacation thinking I could read in the car. I couldn't get into it and read several magazines instead. Other reviews here have given a good synopsis of the story line. What they don't tell you is that the characters are cardboard with no depth or substance. They have names I've read in previous novels, but they left their personalities in other books. Stone is sleeping with any woman who wanders into the storyline, Dino doesn't really work for the NYPD because no cop could just walk away from their job the way he does (in Armani suits no less!). The conversations these characters have aren't even close to believable. I got about halfway through when Stone returns to the Bel-Air mansion "in a fury" and finds "Arrington sunning, topless, by the pool. He walked over and kissed her on each nipple. 'That was nice,' she said smiling. 'It certainly was.'" Then right on back into a conversation on where Stone has been. Puh-leez. I couldn't go any further. The whole thing hit the pinnacle of ridiculous there. I put the book down. I've moved it a few times to dust but I can't make myself pick it up to read it. I have a hard time throwing a book away but I also don't want to pass it along to my book swap friends for fear that they will think I am recommending it. My husband has suggested putting a label on the cover stating "Read at your own risk. Dud novel enclosed." Sounds like a solution to me..
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