The Medium is Murder

Molly McKitterick, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-07032-8
This promising but poorly characterized debut garnered Japan's 1990 Suntory Award, which entailed first publication in that country and a TV movie. The murder of a TV consumer reporter as she is airing a series exposing the information that several local power brokers keep mistresses seems a lively basis for a mystery, and former TV reporter McKitterick imbues her tale of death and skulduggery at St. Louis, Mo.'s Channel KYYY with a strong air of realism--perhaps too much so, because none of the characters, including the protagonist, comes across sympathetically. Laurel Michael's death drives anchor William Hecklepeck into a frenzy of investigation, despite the fact that he detested Laurel and had refused to have anything to do with her series. The anchor and his producer, the hapless Richard Markowitz, glean Laurel's film for clues and determine to interview the mistresses, who had appeared anonymously in the first installment. These include a prominent black nightclub owner; a dotty, cocaine-snorting grande dame; and Laurel's elfin next-door neighbor. As various parties seek the film, which Hecklepeck has hidden, the anchor finds himself accused of murder and must keep one jump ahead of the police. McKitterick's tale has a few grand farcical moments, but otherwise this is an undistinguished effort. (Mar)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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