MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
It's Academy Awards time, and Joan Rivers is back. We're not talking about an appearance on the red carpet or on the stage. Joan Rivers has written a new mystery novel, "Murder at the Academy Awards." The victim isn't fashion, but a movie star.
Alan Cheuse has this review.
ALAN CHEUSE: Can we talk? I watch Oscar night every year, and we're talking about a lot of years here. But even with my affection for movies, I never could have imagined I would actually read a novel about Oscar night, by no one less than Joan Rivers.
In these pages, Rivers' alter ego, Max, short for Maxine Taylor, and her daughter, Drew, is working the red carpet. She's trying to land the biggest stars for her television interviews.
Here comes Cameron Diaz. Who are you wearing? Max asks her, my raspy voice, she says, perhaps just a tad raspier, gaping at the monstrous, green gown that only a Trappist monk could love.
A lot of such Hollywood nastiness passes through these pages, along with a lot of fluff. Only when young actress Halsey Hamilton - who seems a lot like Lindsay Lohan - arrives direct from rehab and dies during her interview with Max do the events turn deadly.
Is it murder? And if so, who's the killer? Max feigns a big addiction so she can check into the famous clinic where the newly dead actress was sequestered. We get some big scenes there, and more about rehab fashion than you really want to know. With a finale stolen from "Phantom of the Opera" and a lot of clothes talk and talk-talk, well, "Murder at the Academy Awards" isn't necessarily Oscar material. But Rivers fans will say, amazing.
NORRIS: The book is "Murder at the Academy Awards" by Joan Rivers. Our reviewer is the amazing Alan Cheuse.
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