DEAD PAN by Jane Dentinger


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The fourth in this zingy series featuring New York actress/sleuth Jocelyn O'Roarke (Death Mask, etc.) brings her to Hollywood to work in a TV movie scripted by longtime friend Austin Frost. Jocelyn's affair with Police Detective Gerrard has soured; there's no work in New York; and Jocelyn's grateful for the job, even realizing a big part of it will be helping onetime child star Ginger Jellicoe with this comeback venture after her bout with drugs and failed marriages. Photography Director Buddy Banks is a stalwart friend to Ginger--he's godfather to her little girl Hollie, whose actor father, Tim Hayes, still seems to care about Ginger, though divorce is imminent. Work on the movie proceeds edgily until Buddy is found murdered in his darkroom. Finding out why and who (and keeping Ginger from being another victim) tests Jocelyn's wit and grit to the nth, even with help from rancher-hairdresser Jack Breedlove and Adonis-like LAPD detective Hamill. Lots of strenuously hip dialogue, convoluted plotting, and colorfully disagreeable characters in quick-cut style that's strained at times but mostly entertaining. Add a plus for vintage movie fans.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Viking