cover image Masterpiece of Murder

Masterpiece of Murder

Steve Allen, Mary Kruger. Kensington Publishing Corporation, $18.95 (264pp) ISBN 978-1-57566-109-4

This latest mystery from the noted performer is likely to bore even his die-hard fans. Allen is both author and hero of this slight tale, which requires continuous suspension of disbelief and considerable tolerance for celebrity name-dropping and the self-congratulatory commentary the author gives his other characters. This is a love-in with an audience of one. Accompanied by wife Jayne Meadows, Allen agrees to help Cat Lawrence, a young woman who co-hosts a network morning program. The show is falling apart with strange accidents threatening to become deadly ones, and Cat's fellow host, Peter McDavis, has bolted for an unscheduled two-week vacation. Allen agrees to fill in for the two weeks and also do a little detective work. The wit is weak, the plot convoluted and the characters stereotypical. Readers won't find the sophisticated, witty, entertainer Steve Allen in these tired pages. (Nov.)