Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: National Writers Press
Release Date: August 1, 2000
ISBN: 0881001163
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre: Mystery
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Kristin Johnson

Reviewer Notes: Mike Romano's first novel was featured in Palm Springs Life.

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.

Murder in Palm Springs
By Mike Romano


     Imagine waking 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."

     Taste Hamburger Hamlet's fried onions and feel the scorching Palm Springs sun as you enjoy Mike Romano's witty, crisp mystery tale.

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