Picks and Pans Review: Murder Ink

updated 09/05/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/05/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (8-9 p.m. ET)

It's cute, and it tries. But this "mystery drama with comedy" fails to evoke the cleverness and charm of the Agatha Christie novels on which it models itself. Broadway actress Tovah (Yentl) Feldshuh stars as the owner of a mystery-novel bookstore, Murder Ink (named after a real bookstore in New York). Married to a cop (Daniel Hugh-Kelly of Ryan's Hope), Feldshuh uses her knowledge of fictional mysteries to help hubby solve the murder of a woman whose grandson was imprisoned for stealing $100,000 from a concert arena. Capable actors, including Ron McLarty, Paul D'Amato and Ellen (Diner) Barkin, cannot overcome the predictable plot or the pathetic attempts to find laughs in situations that don't warrant any. The true mystery here is what Oscar-winning director John (Rocky) Avildsen is doing helming such a leaky vessel.

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