Mysterious, Mar 2002, 24.95, 312 pp.
When he lived Oscar winning actor Jack Nathanson was the poster boy for all that is bad about Hollywood. Now he lies murdered in a lurid coffin proving that he represented more than just bad taste. His two ex-wives and his widow attend the ostentatious funeral as only the movie industry could perform for one of their own.
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department arrest Jack's first wife, actress Debra Angelo. His second spouse, TV reporter Maxie Poole refuses to believe that Debra committed the crime. Unable to allow an injustice to occur, Maxie begins to investigate the death of her former husband. She knew much of Tinseltown hated Jack, but not how many would willingly go out of character to put a couple of bullets into him. However, soon Maxie is struggling to prove her own innocence as more homicides follow.
THE REPORTER takes a Jackie Collins type novel and places it inside a who-done-it. The story line is at its best when it shines a gossipy light on Hollywood through Maxie's engaging inquiries. However, the problem with the tale lies in the original arrest of Debra on evidence that the Inquisition would have rejected as too insubstantial. The tale is a fun to read throwaway, as the plot is not quite Collins or a solidly based La-La Land mystery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner