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THE ROCKFORD FILES by Stuart M. Kaminsky

THE ROCKFORD FILES

The Green Bottle

By Stuart M. Kaminsky

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-86229-6
Publisher: Forge

 As if he didn't have enough to do already, Kaminsky takes a break from his three series detectives--Toby Peters, Porfiry Rostnikov, and Abe Lieberman--to put his spin on an even older series, starring TV's laid-back Malibu shamus Jim Rockford, who agrees this time to look for orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Lewiston's missing niece in return for getting his knees fixed. Barbie Lewiston is a pitiable actress, but she made the trip from Little Rock in hopes of breaking into the biz, and Rockford's best bet is to follow the list of contacts her uncle gives him. So he talks to everybody on the list, and then--now under suspicion of killing a sleazeball producer who wasn't even on the list--talks to each of them again, in a different order, except for the ones that are getting killed, presumably over the theft of a pricey collection of hand-painted Chinese snuff bottles. Rockford's good angels and bad--Lt. Dennis Becker, attorney Beth Davenport, con-artist Angel Martin--all appear in their accustomed roles (Rockford involves Angel in a missing-cat caper that's meant to be a lot funnier than it is), but even nostalgia buffs will be pained by the inevitable loss of sunny James Garner in the title role. No disgrace to the TV series, but no improvement either. Kaminsky's fans shouldn't get their hopes up: The important brand-name here is Rockford.