August 06, 1979 12:00 PM

by Leo Rosten

The novel ends with a glossary “for words I used that are from Yiddish—or the ‘street-talk’ of Manhattan, Broadway, the Bronx, Brooklyn and like that by Sidney (Silky) Pincus.” Unfortunately, the glossary is far more entertaining than the novel about a detective who falls in love with a beautiful client and who says things like, “One of the payoffs of my line of work is the colorful people I have met, and the fantastic true-life stories I know. If they were only moral, I could make a fortune selling them to Reader’s Digest. But if Squaresville don’t buy them, I tell you who always has: women…” Rosten, who wrote the wonderful H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N stories, misses completely this time. Silky is tiresome, a nudnik with too much chutzpah. (Harper & Row, $10)

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