"When viewed in its entirety, the front of the Hollywood Hotel left an impression of many windows, most decorated with small balconies and awnings beneath a jumble of adjacent, but dissimilar roof lines ranging from curves to peaks. At first this architecture seemed rather chaotic, but since the palms and evergreens planted along Prospect-now Hollywood Boulevard-had matured, one viewed the hotel in small sections which were individually quite pleasing to the eye."

"Since Sunday mornings were quiet, the early shift at the Los Angeles Police Department's Sixth Division Station on Cahuenga between Hollywood and Selma consisted of only four men. Two patrol officers were out on assigned beats, another officer manned the complaint desk at the stationhouse, and a fourth officer with at least the rank of sergeant served as watch commander."

"Outside, he climbed into the Dodge Brothers roadster the department provided for his official use and stepped on the starter. The engine sprang to life immediately because Mackie insisted it be maintained to do so. Then the detective sergeant was off up Cahuenga Avenue to Hollywood Boulevard, where he waited for the newly installed traffic signal to show green in his direction before turning left. Mackie would have been well within his authority to turn on the roadster's raucous siren and run the signal, but the dead woman wasn't going anywhere, so he saw no reason to raise a ruckus."

"Winfield whistled his appreciation of the De Mille home. Even though he could see little more than the two-story mansion's red tile roof, there was no doubt about its size. The place was huge. He said, 'Makes you wonder if we aren't in the wrong business, doesn't it?'"

"Winfield wasn't entirely sure of the correct architectural nomenclature to characterize the Garden Court Apartments, but Italian Renaissance seemed to come the closest. C. K. simply called the place gaudy and that fit as well as anything.

"The massive four-story structure sat in the middle of a mostly residential block and fit in with its neighbors like a flapper at a temperance meeting. U-shaped with its open end facing Hollywood Boulevard, the building sat well back from the street behind a meticulously groomed lawn that was bordered here and there by spindly Italian cypress trees."

"Leaving Central Division, Mackie turned his Dodge north on Broadway. To his right he could see the City Hall tower rising majestically behind the squat Hall of Records building. The magnificent white tower-the tallest building in town-was a Los Angeles landmark, recognized far and wide. It was probably as well known as the city's reputation for crooked cops."

"He paused briefly to look at an automobile parked near the administration building entrance. It was the movement of his reflection in the glossy depths of the open phaeton's dark green paint that caught his attention and drew him closer. Even under an overcast sky, nickel plating sparkled on running lights, bumpers and a hundred other trim pieces that decorated the machine like Christmas ornaments. From the center of each huge, wire-laced wheel, a bright red octagon informed those in the know that this was no ordinary automobile. It was a Packard."

"The half-finished buildings he glimpsed through the fence were actually the backs of false-fronted movie sets--facades held up by cobwebs of two-by-fours. From that perspective, they looked as if they wouldn't survive a stiff breeze. From the front, however, the sets looked remarkably like substantial buildings, complete with shop windows, doors, and signs. And they seemed to go on forever, lining a maze of streets that apparently covered the entire northeast corner of the studio property."

"The hotel was a ten-story cube with a grand triple-arched entry facing Ivar Avenue. The exterior always struck Mackie as being rather garish, even for Hollywood. The front of the ground floor was white, while the rest of the structure was finished in a reddish-brown, topped off with white bands below and above the top floor. Sitting on a framework atop the hotel's roof was a giant electric sign that spelled 'Hotel Knickerbocker' in brilliant red letters. Even strangers to Hollywood would have a hard time missing the Knickerbocker."

"Then he stood there for a moment admiring one of the most beautiful machines he'd ever seen. Winfield immediately recognized the gleaming cream over light brown automobile as a brand new Chrysler Imperial roadster. He knew this because he had admired its sporty lines in magazine advertisements. Seeing the new Chrysler model in person for the first time, however, he realized the magazine photos didn't do the car justice. To his mind, the automobile in front of him was the pinnacle of automotive design."

"Inside, Musso and Frank was something else entirely. Dark wood paneling covered the walls from floor to ceiling, with wall sconces softly illuminating booths running down both sides of the main dining room. A pattern of heavy dark beams crisscrossed the high ceiling creating rectangles of indirect lighting for the tables filling the center area of the dining room. Overall, the effect was simultaneously posh and comfortable."

"The region west of Vine, however, is something altogether different, for in this area are the last vestiges of orange orchards, vineyards and other agricultural crops upon which the first settlers of the Cahuenga Valley relied for their livelihoods. And if you drove west on Sunset, as Winfield and Mackie were doing, to the point where the road jogged southwest to avoid the fringes of the Hollywood hills, you come to the virtual no-man's land known locally as the Sunset Strip."

"Leaning over the table to look more closely at the pistol, he said, 'It is a Smith and Wesson Ladysmith, Third Model--a twenty-two caliber revolver with a seven-round chamber and a three-inch barrel.'"

"By the time they reached the coast, the evening fog was blocking what little remained of the waning daylight. C. K. switched on his headlights and turned right onto the coast highway. There was a distinct chill in the air, and Winfield was grateful that the top on Mackie's Dodge was up to block some of the cold, damp breeze."