Picks and Pans Review: Greenwich Killing Time

updated 09/01/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/01/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Kinky Friedman

The author of this amusing mystery novel is a songwriter and country singer (remember Ride 'Em Jewboy?) who has made himself the amateur detective narrator. His friend Mike McGovern, a reporter for the New York Daily News, calls for help when a body is found in his apartment house. Friedman confirms that there is indeed a man holding a bouquet of roses and bearing a bullet hole in the forehead. The police grab McGovern, and Friedman, to save his friend, suppresses evidence and begins investigating everyone who ever knew the victim. The locale is Greenwich Village, and all the trappings—the streets, the bars, the drugs—have a nice authenticity. But it is the wisecracks, at least one snappy line per page, that make this otherwise tired plot fun. At one point Friedman, who is addicted to $2.25 cigars and a cat, muses: "I have found that in this business, one of the most important things is sincerity. If you can fake that, you can do just about anything." He also has a friend who believes, "There's nothing wrong with any woman that a hand grenade or a Quaalude can't straighten out." Clearly, Friedman got a kick out of writing Greenwich Killing Time, and fans of racy, tough-guy mystery novels will enjoy reading it. (Beech Tree, $13.95)

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