Date: July 2003
it at Amazon
Notes: Kelly Lange is the author of The Reporter
and an Emmy winner for Best Los Angeles News Anchorperson.
Kristin Johnson will release
her second book, Christmas Cookies are for Giving,
co-written with Mimi Cummins, in September 2003. Her third
book, Ordinary Miracles: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic
and Scientific Journey, co-written with Sir Rupert A.L.
Perrin, M.D., will be published by PublishAmerica in 2004.
L.A. anchorwoman Kelly Lange does for broadcast news ("Network,"
anyone?) what THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA has done for the magazine industry
in the Maxi Poole series. This is a delicious, wry Sandra Tsing
Loh-esque take on L.A. and on our media-driven sound byte culture
that's perfect for the beach.
the formula of plucky-investigative-reporter/amateur shamus is nothing
particularly new, it works. There's a reason Clark Kent became a
reporter. She may not be Superman, but Maxi has the access code
for vitamin supplement queen and bitter half of a power couple,
Gillian Rose's penthouse, where Gillian, whose famous blue eyes
have mysteriously turned brown, lies murdered. Maxi shoots footage
she isn't, strictly speaking, supposed to (surprise), but although
it doesn't make the six o'clock news, it helps Maxi solve the crime
in true deductive fashion.
terms of blood and gore, you won't find much here. Gillian's body,
a few attempts on Maxi and on Gillian's not-so-grieving hubby Carter
Rose, and the near-murder of Gillian Rose's faithful (but is she?)
assistant, Sandie Schaeffer, are the casualties in this thriller.
For most readers, this is more than enough, and it's refreshing
to read writers who don't believe you have to write a serial killer
to make a mystery gripping. (James Patterson, are you listening?)
focus is on her familiar milieu, the give-and-take and frenetic
energy of a TV newsroom, the witty banter between station manager
Wendy Harris and Maxi, the determination of a plucky reporter armed
with a few coincidences (her dad is a pharmacist!), plus plenty
of emotional intrigue. Forget Carter Rose and his would-be wife,
mistress Kendyl Scott. Maxi's own commitment-phobic musings on her
love life and her tender interlude with hot-spot globetrotting reporter
Richard Winningham provide a wry, real commentary on our modern
lives and relationships. In addition, the behind-the-scenes double-dealing
Maxi uncovers at Rose International would make the Department of
Justice forget Martha Stewart and go after Gillian and Carter instead.
Is Gillian's similarity to the Martha Stewart downfall coincidental?
If so, Martha should watch her back.
the cameras keep rolling on Maxi Poole.