Picks and Pans Review: Critics' Choice

updated 11/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

>THE MAMBO KINGS PLAY SONGS OF LOVE As hearty as a big Cuban meal, Oscar Hijuelos's novel brings alive a Latin band trying to make itself heard in New York in the '40s and '50s. (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)

POODLE SPRINGS Robert B. Parker, accessory after the fact, finishes a Philip Marlowe novel Raymond Chandler began before he died in 1959. Marlowe ends up with an only slightly split personality. (Putnam)

SHELLEY II Shelley Winters, still unable to find a big enough bushel to hide her light under, delves in her past for tales of John Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Sean Connery and other A-list memoir folks. (Simon and Schuster)

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