National Writers Press
Date: August 1, 2000
it at Amazon
Notes: Mike Romano's first novel was featured in Palm
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.
in Palm Springs
up to a sultry Palm Springs morning with nothing more pressing than
the thought of your agent hounding you to finish your latest book.
Imagine looking out your window and seeing the bloody body of a
young woman on your front lawn.
This is the powder
keg that ignites former L.A. dweller Mike Romano's first novel,
a mystery set in the glamour of Palm Springs. Romano, fascinated
by the mystique of the area even before he moved there, penned this
tale of Ted Ross, a writer who quickly finds himself the prime suspect
in the girl's murder, particularly when he discovers that the victim
is Kim Sheppard, a wise, younger waitress at Hamburger Hamlet. Ted,
a nice guy (even his ex-wife is friends with him) with a quick wit,
mourns lost opportunities with Kim, who he was attracted to but
afraid to approach. Seeing Kim's body in the morgue, Ted begins
to wish that wrestling with the blank page and his obnoxious, hyper
agent Sam's insistent phone calls were his only concern.
Ted's smart mouth
and his determination to find Kim's killer leads to sarcastic encounters
with Sergeant Noble, the lead on the case; harrowing brushes with
Mafia chieftain Mr. Conti who wants to prevent Ted from implicating
his clueless son Tony in Kim's murder; Bill the surfer bartender
at Hamburger Hamlet who has secrets of his own; public resentment;
and a complicated romance with Kim's beautiful, strong yet vulnerable
sister, Laura, who initially distrusts Ted. Then a nude, second
dead body winds up on Ted's lawn as a result of Ted's investigation
into Kim's murder. Conti wants to make Ted sorry for Tony's arrest,
and Kim's killer is growing tired of Ted.
On the other
hand, Ted has found love with Laura and his other books are selling.
An amusing comment on the book business: When the second body shows
up on the lawn, Sam says, "Another body! I couldn't have scripted
this any better myself."
Hamburger Hamlet's fried onions and feel the scorching Palm Springs
sun as you enjoy Mike Romano's witty, crisp mystery tale.