THE DOROTHY PARKER MURDER CASE by George Baxt

THE DOROTHY PARKER MURDER CASE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

George S. Kaufman finds the dead body of Ziegfeld Follies beauty Ilona Mercury in his ""private sex salon."" So his buddies Dorothy Parker (first seen slitting her wrists yet again) and Alexander Woollcott (camping it up) decide to play sleuth in this effortful 1926 period-potpourri--with an endless parade of clichÉd famousname cameos among the suspects and witnesses. Was Ilona murdered because she loudly voiced her suspicions (poison!)about Rudy Valentino's recent demise? What's her connection to victim #2 Vera DeLee--one of Polly Adler's girls? Were they both patients of shady Bela Horathy, the show-biz Dr. Feelgood of the 1920s? And were they both guests at a recent party given by Gatsby-ish playboy Lacey Van Weber? So go the wearisome queries--as Parker falls under Van Weber's seductive spell, someone tries to kill Woollcott, slimy George Raft becomes a top suspect. . . and virtually every 1926 celeb makes a contrived appearance. (""Why, hell, here's A1 Jolson. I hope the son of a bitch remembers to pay the check. Hello, sucker!""--says Texas Guinan, for example.) A few arch laughs, but no genuine Algonquin Round Table atmosphere and only the creakiest of mysteries. (See Beck, just below, for a light-as-air 1920s diversion.)

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's