The Last Page

Bob Fenster, Author Perseverance Press $8.95 (179p) ISBN 978-0-9602676-8-2
In this uninspired whodunit set in fictional New York publishing houses, police detective Brian Skiles and mystery editor Anne Baker collaborate to solve the murders of two book editors. Their only clues are death notes, found pinned to the victims, that are written to resemble standard manuscript rejection letters. Skiles poses as Baker's assistant editor for the investigation, and shortly after this begins, they embark as well on their own novel about an editor and detective catching a killer. Fenster's publishing milieu is peopled with shallow, sleazy and unconscionably opportunistic sorts who are hopelessly constrained by their stereotypical outlines. Dozens of characters are introduced, never to be mentioned again, distracting from and interrupting the story. Fenster's sense of humor is labored and self-conscious, his pacing barely adequate. His failure to capitalize on New York's intrinsic frenzy and energy results in a noticeable absence of momentum and style. The flat climaxes, preceded by unremarkable suspense, are predictable, including the romantic encounter of Skiles and Baker and the unmasking of the murderer. Fenster has written other mysteries under a pseudonym. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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