KIRKUS REVIEW Dumb Arnie, the giant-sized tracker, loves savvy Bobbie, the adorable actor; so when the police shrug off Bobbie's death as a routine, kinky, gay fatality (an overdose, with billions of cigarette burns all over his body), Arnie seeks out Bobbie's agent, Jake Weissman, for help. The problem, says Weissman, is that he can't recall Arnie's young man, and, besides, detective work is out of his line. Egged on, however, by his hot-as-a-tamale, illegal-alien secretary, Miss Murphy, Jake is soon up to his gold neck-chains investigating the cast of characters at the Quest Theatre, where Bobbie sometimes worked the box office. Among the suspects: stuntman turned theater-owner Hank Harvey, who quickly exits the scene by overbalancing on a ladder (was he pushed?); Hazel, the badly bewigged ex-wife, often in a heroin-induced haze; feminist dramatist Yolanda, whose revolutionary children's play will be Quest's next production; her yes-man, accompanist Kitty; actor Carl, soon dispatched with broken bones (an accident?); and the looney ""twins,"" Tina and Tim, who deliver vicious little barbs with Noel Coward's panache. Meanwhile, macho Jake and simple Arnie are truly, sweetly becoming real friends, and, at the agent's suggestion, Arnie agrees to sub for the ailing Carl. Only he's a no-show; Jake goes on; real guns shoot real bullets, not blanks; and before you can shout, ""Curtains!,"" Arnie is reading a letter Bobble left behind that tells all, Jake is being hauled to a prop room, and is well on his way to becoming a cigarette-burned corpse. Arnie to the rescue, of course. Despite the cruelty and bizarreness at the end, a very likable story--and a frisky debut for first-time author Ward.
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Smooth writing, good dialogue and a smattering of theatrical lingo contribute to an appealing mystery. Hollywood agent Jake Weissman has problems: his clients don't get many parts; his new secretary, a sexy illegal alien with a very large boyfriend tries to seduce and reform him; and a client he's almost forgotten, would-be actor Bobbie Lang, is murdered in a particularly nasty way. Bobbie's lover, truck driver and body builder Arnie Siganski, asks Jake to find the murderer. Much against his inclination, Jake finds himself hanging around Bobbie's most recent place of employment, the Quest Theater, a failing operation run by Hank Harvey, a former stunt man who wants to play Hamlet, and his wife, who once was a back-up swimmer for Esther Williams. The theater is in the middle of a crisis over avant-garde playwright and actress Yolanda Meltzer, who is not, to put it mildly, a box-office attraction but who is backed by Tim and Tina, the backstage mainstays of the Quest, without whose services the company could not survive. Having fallen for Ginny Warner, who runs the Quest's box office, Jake finds his role of private eye getting complicated when two of the principal characters are killed in separate "accidents." Out of such offbeat material, Ward has crafted a truly engaging and funny debut.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1988. Book Condition: Good. 1st. N/A. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP67492061
Book Description Book Condition: Good. Book Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 97803120174464.0
Book Description St. Martins Press, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Hardcover and Dust jacket very good, pages clean and tight, appears unread, though ex-library with all pastings and markings, Dustjacket under library's fused mylar cover and scotchtaped to inside of book cover. Digital image available upon request. Bookseller Inventory # 7502