Picks and Pans Review: The Talk Show Murders

updated 02/15/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/15/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Steve Allen

The composer-entertainer is the author of 23 books, and maybe, with this lightweight murder mystery, he finally has found his niche as a writer. He has created a flamboyant detective hero who is called in after a weird murder is committed on The Toni Tennille Show. In the tried-and-true Agatha Christie method, Allen fills the book with so many characters the reader is totally confused. These include Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, Dinah Shore, Luciano Pavarotti, Burt Reynolds, Phil Donahue, Mike Douglas, David Frost and John Davidson. If all the celebrities mentioned in this book buy a copy, it will be a best-seller. Allen's major problem is that the novel is riddled with television jokes, one-liners that often prove ghastly in print. Sample: "I tried to sniff coke once, but the bubbles got in my nose." (Delacorte, $12.95)

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