Columbo: The Glitter Murder

William Harrington, Author Forge $21.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-86161-2
Harrington's fifth Columbo mystery (following The Game Show Killer) sets the LAPD homicide lieutenant the task of unmasking the murderer who slew Gunnar Svan, film director, philanderer, embezzler. Following the pattern of the long-running TV series, Harrington lets the reader in on the secret by revealing the murderer as the crime is planned and executed. The pleasure, according to the Columbo formula, is supposed to come from watching the rumpled cop match wits with the killer. Harrington's cast of suspects includes Ai-Ling Cooper-Svan, the victim's beautiful, powerful wife, who is publisher and editor-in-chief of the Hollywood monthly Glitz; a 17-year-old starlet, Ingrid Karlsen, willingly seduced by Svan; Piers Karlsen, the starlet's outraged father; a mobster named Jacky Di Giacomo; and others. As Columbo uncovers clues and discards red herrings, the desperate killer squirms. The lieutenant's quirky charms-the ever-present raincoat; half-smoked cigars; his beat-up but beloved Peugeot-have been given great visual definition by actor Peter Falk for 25 years. Harrington does his best to transfer them to the printed page, but this time Falk's charm is noticeably absent. Without the suspense of discovery and without Falk's merry wrinkles, this Columbo bogs down in generic Hollywood caricatures. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/1997
Release date: 03/01/1997
Hardcover - 249 pages - 978-0-7540-3287-8
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-7089-3880-5
Paperback - 265 pages - 978-0-7838-8925-2
Hardcover - 265 pages - 978-0-7540-4010-1
Hardcover - 249 pages - 978-0-7540-3288-5
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