Picks and Pans Review: The Boy Who Never Grew Up
When it comes to digging up dirt, there's nobody quite like natty ghostwriter Stewart "Hoagy" Hoag and his neurotic basset hound Lulu. Here, in their fifth caper, writer Handler unleashes the detective duo on Hollywood, where Hoagy's been hired by a Spielbergian director who needs a quickie memoir to preempt his estranged actress wife's tell-all tattle. Caught in the crossfire of this ugly divorce battle—and soon in a literal one as well—the sleuths have no choice but to sniff out the skeletons in the closet.
Many characters get no more complex than movie-of-the-week cameos, and the mystery's plot takes a while to build momentum. But Handler, himself a Los Angeles native who's worked as a ghost and screenwriter, definitely knows the turf. His insider's take on Tinseltown makes this as bitchily amusing as eavesdropping at Spago. (Doubleday, $16.50)
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