Cover image for Dead on cue
Dead on cue
Spencer, Sally.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Severn House, 2001.
Physical Description:
247 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Kenmore Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Lancaster Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Orchard Park Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Audubon Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Hamburg Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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With the newspapers screaming for a quick solution, this is a case no one wants to touch -- so naturally it is Chief Inspector Woodend who finds himself left holding the baby. With his usual panache, Cloggin'-it Charlie quickly immerses himself of the world of television, meeting people he has previously only seen as characters on the screen, learning that while there may be honour among thieves there does not seem to be much on the set of Maddox Row. The question, it soon becomes apparent, is not who wanted to kill Valerie Farnsworth, but who didn't. And will the murderer stop at only one victim? There are those in the know who are convinced that he won't.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

A successful English soap opera is in production at a studio in a remodeled mill outside Manchester. When the show's lead actress is murdered, Charlie Woodend and his team of unorthodox coppers are assigned the case. Meanwhile, Charlie's boss is replaced by one of Charlie's enemies within the police bureaucracy, putting the onus on Charlie to solve the case before department politics get the best of him and his colleagues. This latest Charlie Woodend novel again boasts a difficult mystery and evocative early '60s atmosphere. We see more of Woodend this time, and the emphasis on his interaction with his wife and daughter adds depth to the series. Perhaps because Spencer lingers over scenes depicting life on the set of the soap opera, this tale is not as fast paced as other entries in the series. Still, there is much here to please Woodend fans, as well as those who like mysteries with a television or radio setting--e.g., Simon Brett's Charlie Paris series or David Handler's The Man Who Cancelled Himself (1995). John Rowen

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this fast-paced, often humorous puzzler from British author Spencer (The Golden Mile to Murder), backstabbing among media executives, aspiring stars and script writers at the remote Lancashire studios of the TV series Maddox Row is both verbal and literal. "Madro," as insiders call it, once "was a television phenomenon," but lately has been losing viewers, and its autocratic producer, Bill Houseman, is looking for solutions. A clash of egos with equally headstrong director Jeremy Wilcox sets the stage for "Cloggin'-it Charlie" Woodend, a painstaking and seemingly dull-witted police detective assigned to find out who planted a screwdriver in star Valerie Farnsworth, leaving her "dead on cue" during a live broadcast. Ignoring troubles at home (his daughter has fled to the nightlife of London), the lead-footed inspector dutifully interviews all sorts of scheming characters drawn from television's tawdry world in his determination to solve what becomes a double murder case after Houseman is also done in. Jealous police officials connive against each other, while Charlie remains above it all, just doing his job. Spencer melds her characters' spoken words and inner thoughts seamlessly, and nimbly makes scene changes to places as far away as the California coastline. Descriptions of melancholy English moorlands are reminiscent of Conan Doyle, as is the inspector's sudden revelation of the culprit in a tense final scene, occurring just before an improbable happily-ever-after epilogue. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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