Suspense meets romance meets zany comedy!
"Sexy and humorous."-Library Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThis debut novel by a publishing insider reads like a pallid imitation of Susan Isaacs, complete with a pampered Jewish housewife as sleuth. Alison Waxman Koff and her affluent husband live by the credo of Wall Street 's Gordon Gecko--``greed is good''--but their financial assets in upscale Layton, Conn., vanish in the crash of '87. Alison must do without her shopping trips, her manicures and eventually her husband, who returns to his first wife. Heavily in debt, she takes a job doing what she knows best: cleaning house. She becomes a maid for Melanie Moloney, a vitriolic, odious writer of sleazy biographies who is currently engaged in exposing the sins of Layton's leading citizen, a former Hollywood actor and U.S. senator. When Melanie is murdered, the inept local constabulary ignore the lengthy list of suspects and arrest Alison, who fights back with some unique weapons--even enlisting the aid of her loathsome mother. Heller's pursuit of humor is relentlessly heavy-handed, and her onslaught of lame wisecracks combines with stereotypical characters to further subvert her unsurprising story. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates; author tour. (July)
Library JournalThe stock market crash of 1987 brings an end to the good life that Alison and Sandy Koff have enjoyed during the 1980s. Not only do they lose all their money, but Sandy decides to return to his first wife. Alison can't make ends meet with her part-time job as a reporter for the local newspaper, so she goes to work as a maid for Melanie Moloney, the celebrity writer who's in town to dig up the dirt on Senator Alistair Downs, the subject of her next tell-all biography. When Alison finds Melanie murdered, she's the main suspect, but others had a good reason to kill Melanie, including Downs himself, his daughter Bethany, and Cullie Harrington, an architectural photographer and Alison's new love. Although readers will figure out whodunit long before Alison does, this sexy and humorous first novel will be enjoyed by fans of Susan Isaacs's After All These Years (HarperCollins, 1993) and Judith Viorst's Murdering Mr. Monti (LJ 12/93). [Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate selection.]-Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
Mary Ellen QuinnAlison Koff's husband, Sandy, tells her that all their money is gone and that he's going back to his first wife. Alison is left with Maplebark Manor, the 18-room mansion they bought and renovated. The bank is threatening to foreclose, and Alison's part-time job writing features for the local paper doesn't pay much, so she puts the house on the market and sets out to find more work. She is annoyed by, and then later attracted to, Cullie Harrington, the photographer who comes to take pictures of her house for the real-estate brochure. Housekeeping is the only job Alison can find, and her employer turns out to be the celebrity-biographer Melanie Moloney, who's working on a tell-all book about a prominent newspaper owner; Alison has hardly begun work when her boss is murdered. Alison is the prime suspect, but she manages to identify the real killer, discovering some shocking secrets about her own family along the way. She also sheds all the trappings of her upscale 1980s lifestyle and finds love. A bright, lively comedy that zips right along.
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- 9.28(w) x 6.39(h) x 1.24(d)
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