WHAT NIGEL KNEW by Evan Field

WHAT NIGEL KNEW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nigel is nasty movie-critic/gossip-colunnist Nigel Whitty--sort of a cross between John Simon and the National Enquirer. And what he ""knew"" was all kinds of movie-land secrets--one of which motivated somebody to strangle Nigel with his own typewriter ribbon during a screening in a dark theater. Was it stud/superstar/director Danny Blue? Or actress Becky Luna (whose career Nigel ruined)? Or critic Vernon Leakey, who was a secret HUAC informer? Or Polish dancer Gyorgi Gdansk? Or Rex-Reed-y hype-artist Fenton Farnabee? Those are among the suspects interviewed by cop Michael Connelly and by amateur sleuth Sara Nightingale, the late Nigel's assistant (the two are soon quipping lovers). And Sara gets nearly killed a few times before the culprit--a relatively inventive motive--is unmasked. But, as you may have already surmised, the mystery is largely beside the point here--as pseudonymous Field (two ""well-known writers on film"") dishes out heaps of bitchy movie/celebrity satire, with more than a few turns of the clef. Some of the parodies--movie titles, pretentious critics, venal moguls (""I love stories about the disabled; they really touch me where it counts"")--are pretty funny, never hilarious. Some of the campy brawling is just unpleasant (""You filthy twat! Who are you to talk? You who've allowed the entire Dallas football team to run ninety-yard dashes up your cunt while you lay there twirling your baton""). So, all in all, this is mostly for a savvy, glitzy New York audience; but a few curious others may find a laugh here and there.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1981
Publisher: Potter--dist. by Crown