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by Tim Heald
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To learn who killed a loathsome gossip columnist, Bognor joins the paper Staggering homeward from a banquet, St. John Derby decides it would be easier to stagger back to work instead. When he reaches his desk, the booze-addled gossip columnist treats himself to a massive tumbler of port and calls for a taxi. By the time the cab arrives, the port is spilled on the carpet, mingling with the blood leaking from Derby's cut throat. No one will mourn his death. Special investigator Simon Bognor is dispatched to get the scoop on who finished off the sodden old scribe. Journalism is not Bognor's field-in fact, he can barely type-and the tame missives that pepper the paper's gossip section strike him as too boring to kill for. But as he pokes around the daily newspaper's offices, he finds quite the story indeed-one that will either land him on the front page, or among the obituaries.
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