Picks and Pans Review: Lullaby of Murder

updated 08/06/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/06/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Dorothy Salisbury Davis

The heroine of this traditional mystery novel, Julie Hayes, is a former actress who is married to a newspaperman. She works as a legman for a famous gossip columnist at the New York Daily. Hayes' husband flies off to Europe to cover a story, and Hayes goes to interview a man who is staging a dance marathon with a $10,000 prize. Meanwhile a famous press agent dives to his death off the George Washington Bridge, and Hayes' boss is found with a bullet in his head. Davis interweaves that plot with characters including a former child actress who works in a massage parlor, a preacher with a scandal in his past, several unsavory thugs and a criminal mastermind who doesn't want anyone to touch him. Davis, author of 15 other novels, keeps everything moving. Though her conclusion is almost incomprehensible and her heroine's motives are not at all clear, fans of this sort of entertainment won't care. It's more than slick enough. (Scribner's, $12.95)

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