Groucho Marx made the transition from screen to paper in Ron Goulart's widely acclaimed first novel, Groucho Marx, Master Detective
, where he debuted as a radio star--cum--private eye. The quipping comic returns as the sleuth to the stars during Hollywood's Golden Age in this second book in the series. Aided by his faithful sidekick, Frank Denby, the former crime reporter who writes Groucho's hit radio show, Groucho once again encounters murder and mayhem.
Groucho and Frank aren't enjoying their latest costar, singing child prodigy Polly Pilgrim, a spoiled ingenue who Groucho describes as possessing "all the best qualities of Typhoid Mary, Ma Barker, and Louis B. Mayer." When a prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon is found dead in his palatial home, and Polly's mother, the faded actress Frances London, is accused of his murder, Polly's request for Groucho and Frank to help prove her mother's innocence surprises them. She is convinced that Frances has been framed, and despite the mounting evidence against the washed-up performer, the pair takes on the case.
As the duo begins to dig into the doctor's past in hopes of uncovering both the motive and the murderer, a wealth of unexpected information reveals itself. It seems that the revered doctor may have supplied drugs to some of his wealthier patients and may also have had dangerous mob connections. Several unlikely suspects in high places appear, but time is running out for Frances--and possibly for Groucho and Frank as well.
With his masterful hand, Goulart evokes the Hollywood of the 1930s just as clearly as it is on the big screen. He depicts a vast array of colorful characters--gangsters, movie moguls, crooked cops, advertising men, actors, starlets, agents, and especially the wise-cracking gumshoe Groucho, who is, once again, larger than life.