JANE DENTINGER – First Hit of the Season. Jocelyn O’Rourke #2. Doubleday, hardcover, 1984. Dell, paperback, October 1985.

   Jocelyn O’Rourke is a young actress and acting coach who knows her way around the Broadway theater thoroughly , both on- and off-, and her insight into the people involved — producers, directors, other actors, even critics — gives her boy friend, homicide detective Phillip Gerrard, plenty of additional meat to chew on while solving a case.

   Which in this case involves the death by poisoning of a Broadway critic with a vicious pen — a little too vicious for one of his victims, perhaps.

   Author Jane Dentinger, who herself at the time was in much the same profession as her leading lady, is very, very good when it comes to characters, personal relationships between them, backstage gossip and witty repartee. In this book, though, she is not as good when it comes down to clues and describing actual detective work. She knows the setting of this flavorful Broadway concoction like the palm of her hand, however, and while your opinion may vary, this goes a long way toward mitigating any weaknesses you also may find in the crime solving that’s involved.

      The Jocelyn O’Roarke series —

1. Murder on Cue (1983)
2. First Hit of the Season (1984)
3. Death Mask (1988)
4. Dead Pan (1992)
5. The Queen is Dead (1994)
6. Who Dropped Peter Pan? (1995)