The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Murder Case

George Baxt, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-312-15129-4
Los Angeles, 1953. A visiting Russian ballet company, America's legendary dancing partners, the era's anti-Communist hysteria and a pair of Hollywood detectives mix to a leaden effect in the latest in Baxt's celebrity series (The William Powell and Myrna Loy Murder Case, etc.). Sol Hurok has brought the legendary Baronovitch Ballet Company to America and will feature them with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in a highly touted TV special. A huge, celebrity-laden ball is given in Hollywood to welcome the corps. The CIA, urged on by the House Un-American Activities Committee, asks Fred and Ginger to spy on the troupe. The KGB spies on the CIA; romantic liaisons and clandestine meetings proliferate; and, when Ginger's psychiatrist, a Russian emigre and possible double agent, is poisoned at this fete, suspicion falls upon just about everyone. Two seasoned Hollywood police detectives and a henna-haired friend, who makes her living selling gossip, speed to the doctor's home and mix puns, wisecracks and nasty asides with their perfunctory police work. Zingy one-liners and zany cameo appearances by bygone celebs aren't enough to keep this tale on its toes. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1997
Release date: 02/01/1997
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