Ron Goulart Groucho Marx, King of the Jungle Reviews

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“Groucho Marx, King of the Jungle ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 02/05/2005

Groucho Marx, King of the Jungle
Ron Goulart

In 1940 former Los Angeles Times crime reporter Frank Denby takes his sleuthing pal Groucho Marx to meet director Joel Farber who wants to use the comedian in a supportting ole as J. Darwin Underbush in his film Ty-Gor and the Lost City. The meeting is cancelled as someone killed the title star Randy Spellman. Joel wants to hire Groucho and Frank to investigate the homicide, but they say no because the screenwriter promised is pregnant wife cartoonist Jane Danner that he would not conduct any murder inquiries.

Jane shocks Frank when she asks him to prove that the prime suspect stuntwoman Dorothy Woodrow did not kill her former lover over his rejecting her as the cops believe. Instead family friend Enery McBride insists Dorothy is his girlfriend, but cannot go to the police because of the bias towards interracial couples. Groucho and Frank learn that Randy was a nasty sort blackmailing people; many individuals would want him dead. The detectives know that a happy Hollywood ending may not occur since Dorothy seems too involved with the late Randy for someone who had not seen him for months.

Though one-liner Grouchoitis has spread to Frank and Jane, fans of Hollywood amateur sleuth tales will appreciate the amusing GROUCHO MARX, KING OF THE JUNGLE, a take off of his role in Animal Crackers. The who-done-it is cleverly devised so that the readers along with the wannabe detectives begin to wonder if Dorothy actually killed Randy. Ron Goulart writes a funny historical mystery that brings to life 1940 Hollywood especially Groucho Marx at a time when his last movie was a bomb.

Dunne, Jul 2005, $22.95, 240 pp.
ISBN: 0312322168
Harriet Klausner

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