I've been reading Whitfield's Death in a Bowl (1931) for the last couple of nights. Lest you think this is some artsy music-lover cozy-type mystery:
Frey shrugged his broad shoulders, gestured helplessly with spread hands, palms upturned. His face was white and drawn; his eyes, streaked with red, held a weary expression. He said flatly:
"She wouldn't scream like that. She's been shot in the stomach--she wouldn't scream like that."
I'm still undecided on this one, but then I'm not quite a quarter of the way in. Out of curiosity, I was poking around the web, and found this site which focuses on fiction set in California, which I thought was great! There's a nice little mini-review there.
I'll report back when I've finished, but my general impression is Whitfield was maybe trying too hard for the tough guy thing. Possibly feeling that setting a story at the Hollywood Bowl would require extra doses of vitamin lead to beef it up?