I “met” Jane Dentinger when I recently read Arthur Bracknell’s memoir Moose Murdered, the tale of his failed Broadway play. Dentinger, was, and I assume, still is, Bracknell’s best friend. While his play was having its dying gasps, Dentinger was releasing her novel Murder on Cue. As it is a murder mystery set in the world of theater, I figured it would be right up my alley. And having Bracknell praise it so much, I had to acquire it. So I ordered an ancient copy of the book. After all, it was first published in 1983. Murder on Cue is very ably written. Dentinger fully understands and follows the set murder mystery formula: meet the suspects, reveal the murder, do the investigating, gather the suspects and relate the facts, accuse the murderer, talk about how the murderer came to be known. It’s time honored in books, movies, and TV. Dentinger is no doubt of child of the 70s and 80s, those days of numerous TV mystery series, the most notable being Murder, She Wrote. I find no fault whatsoever with Murder on Cue as a procedural mystery. And I enjoyed the setting. Anyone who is a mega-fan of murder mysteries will love the book; if that reader also loves the theater, then said reader may also adore the book. But I, too, am a TV nut. I’ve watched far too much Murder, She Wrote, and I like my mysteries solved in 43 minutes. Even today, one of my favorite shows is Death in Paradise, where the formula above is finis in that stated 43 minutes. So I got bogged down in Murder on Cue. I wanted it to move faster. I wanted some of the description to be edited out. I wanted to get to that conclusion faster, that denouement to be delineated in less than its allotted ten pages. That’s just me, though, so if you like your mysteries paced a bit slower, you’ll like this book. It is firmly set in the milieu of 1980s theater and NYC. That’s a plus. But if cigarette smoking bothers you, that’s a minus. Just about everybody smokes endlessly. I know, I know. It takes place long before public place smoking bans, but it also takes place long after the surgeon general’s report on smoking, and I think that using the smoking as a character or plot device is a bit too handy in this novel. One final thing that bugged the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of me: Dentinger uses the term “all right” about ten million, zillion times. She spells it “alright.” I did not want to call her out in this review based on my own knowledge. But it proved to be correct, for this is what I found when I researched the correct spelling: “In all uses and contexts, ‘all right’ is the only correct spelling.” Authors don’t have to know how to spell; editors do. Shame on Dentinger’s editor!