A Genius by Moonlight

W. J. M. Brady, Author Washington Square Press $6.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-671-68558-4
The ``genius'' of the title is Jack Paley, who achieved nationwide fame on a TV quiz show for brainy kids, but at age 29 is drifting, working as a temp for an offbeat agency (his jobs range from serving as tour guide at the Empire State Building to modeling for a fashion shoot in Central Parkp. 48 ) and making love to his girlfriend Belinda Frank only on Tuesday evenings, not so coincidentally the night that the Mental Midgets show used to air. When some of his fellow midgets die mysteriously, Paley turns his brainpower to sleuthing. Brady rips off plenty of funny lines and aptly skewers pop culture, from edible underwear to ``women who love too much,'' but the book soon falters, with long, pointless sections (including a chapter on the pros and cons of colorizing movies) and a gimmicky series of ``mini-mysteries'' that Paley solves on his way to unmasking the killer. A rather corny, happily-ever-after ending is at odds with the brash, breezy tone that permeates this first novel. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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