It’s the Celebrity Sleuths Mystery Series, by George Baxt — 13 books, published between 1984 and 1997, with creative titles like The Greta Garbo Murder Case or The Fred Astaire And Ginger Rogers Murder Case.
Going by online summaries, it looks like they all have the basic formula of “somebody gets murdered, and a star-studded lineup of Golden Age celebrities, led by the one name-checked in the title, needs to solve it.”
I noted the pattern while shelving people’s returns at the library, but didn’t feel compelled to pull any of them and read further.
And then I saw The Gracie Allen Murder Case, and snapped it up to check out as soon as my shift was over.
A frankly glorious reminiscence about the dawn of fandom on the Internet, with five pages of commenters waxing nostalgic about the days when Altavista ruled search and everyone was on mailing lists.
On the other hand, a program from a slash con in 1993 demonstrates that, even before the Internet, fandom was pretty much exactly the same. (Panels on hurt/comfort, inter-fic plagiarism, fannish racism and misogyny, and, yes, the ethics of RPF.)
Schools are using more forcible restraint on problem kids. Most cringe-worthy line: “And the children, who have an array of psychiatric diagnoses, from attention deficit to autism, often do not understand what is happening or why.”
And on a brighter note entirely, Massachusetts is on the verge of knocking down yet another marriage-related limit, partly because recent developments in California have revealed that same-sex marriage brings the cash. We get rights, the state gets money . . . everybody wins!