Smoke Over Malibu


Smoke Over Malibu was published by William Heinemann in January 2017.

The Hon. Lucius Kluge – honourable, lucky, clever – might be the only guy in Los Angeles who’s still living in the past. Lucky pines for the old days of New Hollywood, before Star Wars and superheroes blew up the movies for good. He spends his days working for an antiques business, his nights boozing and brooding on his former life as an almost-successful screenwriter.

But when his ex-best friend goes AWOL and his elderly boss is assaulted during the theft of a vintage cookie jar, Lucky and his partner Raul are spurred reluctantly into something like action.

A satire of sundered friendships and frayed male egos at the Hollywood intersection of art and commerce, Smoke Over Malibu is a soft-boiled mystery, a fish-out-of-water farce, a buddy comedy, an inaction thriller, a hipster indie. It’s Raymond Chandler meets Nick Hornby; it’s The Big Lebowski meets Lovejoy. It is absolutely, positively not a superhero blockbuster.


“Though there are some excellent one-liners, the novel is more than just a spoof: Tim Walker brings to his plot the care of a proper crime novelist… The characters are written with real warmth, rather than being mere foils for Walker’s jokes… It’s a hardboiled story with a soft centre.” – The Guardian

“An uplifting love letter to the city” – The i paper

“Amusing, well observed and highly enjoyable.” – Sunday Times Crime Club

“Funny, quirky and confidently written.” – Culturefly