LAST DANCE IN REDONDO BEACH by Michael J. Katz

LAST DANCE IN REDONDO BEACH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the late 1970's, Katz made a promising mystery-comedy debut with Murder off the Glass, featuring the Chicago sleuth-team of wry sportscaster Andy Sussman and shopping-mall shamus Murray Glick ("a true sleazoid"). Now Sussman and Glick return--in a less engaging investigation, focused on the gimmicky, garish world of pro wrestling. Sussman is in L.A., very reluctantly hosting Celebrity Network Superteams, when one of the contestants--masked wrestler "Dr. Double-X"--dies, apparently of a heart attack, during the rubber paddleboat race. The incident generates lots of tabloid-TV interest, of course. So Sussman (who wants to be the Walter Cronkite of sports) must swallow his dignity and do segments on the real identity of Dr. Double-X, which remains a mystery even after the funeral. And, predictably, the search into the wrestler's past soon convinces Sussman, and sidekick Glick, that Dr. D. was murdered--as suspicion comes to focus on the labyrinthine blackmail schemes of a shady Chicago sports-agent. As in Murder off the Glass, there's considerable appeal in the flip, ironic narration here, with nicely cynical views of TV news-and-sports. This time, however, the divided focus on co-sleuths Sussman and Glick is a distraction; Sussman's agent-girlfriend Susie, a wisecracker, is more off-putting than entertaining; the pro-wrestling types (except for a couple of amusingly matter-of-fact careerists) are merely grotesque. And, with a short-story-sized plot stretched far too thin, the result is a disappointing, if mildly diverting, sequel.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1989
ISBN: 399-13445-X
Publisher: Putnam
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