All Fall Down

Robin Francis, Author Harlequin Books $2.79 (0p) ISBN 978-0-373-22171-4
Francis's ( Button, Button ) third installment of a planned four-part series finds writer Jenny Spaulding and lawyer Peter Darien stranded at a writers' retreat in the California mountains, cut off from civilization when a violent storm washes out the bridge. Soon a publicist is found murdered with a press release in his mouth, a romance writer is electrocuted and her editor is bludgeoned to death and pushed over a cliff. Francis uses every cliche in the book: The romance writer dresses in pink and bows no, she dresses in pink and she dresses in bows/pk and is accompanied everywhere by her Shih Tzu dog; the hero is a ``good sport,'' and the heroine only orders a drink ``because liqueurs were served in such pretty glasses.'' On the other hand, at least Francis uses cliches well. The detection is pedestrian but plausible and the romantic leads, though two-dimensional, are bland enough to be inoffensive. And the author has a sense of self as well as a sense of humor about her craft. As she has the soon-to-be murdered romance writer declaim to Jenny `` . . . I'm smart enough to know I've got a formula for success, and I cry all the way to the bank.'' (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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