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Unzipped [NOOK Book]

Overview

ANALYZE THIS.?

Chrissy McMullen has made a career leap, all the way from slinging drinks at Chicago?s most notorious nightclub to dispensing psychotherapy from her sleek new practice in L.A. Even if she can?t quite shed her too-loud, too-curvy alter ego?or the brawling family that insists on claiming kinship. So when her most famous client, buff football star ?Bomber? ...
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Unzipped

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Overview

ANALYZE THIS.…

Chrissy McMullen has made a career leap, all the way from slinging drinks at Chicago’s most notorious nightclub to dispensing psychotherapy from her sleek new practice in L.A. Even if she can’t quite shed her too-loud, too-curvy alter ego–or the brawling family that insists on claiming kinship. So when her most famous client, buff football star “Bomber” Bomstad, starts chasing her around her desk and getting, well…unzipped…Christina gets just a little miffed–until Bomber has the bad manners to drop dead at her feet.

Enter Jack Rivera, a no-nonsense detective with a grim attitude and a great butt, who’s determined to prove this cocktail-waitress-turned-shrink was engaging in some very unethical behavior. Persuading Rivera that she’s not a murderer isn’t going to be easy. Plunging headfirst into a city full of people in need of some serious therapy, Chrissy will have to use all her street smarts, a good deal of sex appeal, and a little love to clear her name–and cancel an appointment with a killer.


From the Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wholly-and sometimes heavy-handedly-full of froth, this first contemporary romance-mystery from Greiman (who's better known for historical romances like Seducing a Princess) introduces an unusual heroine: Christina McMullen, a veteran cocktail waitress turned professional psychologist. Chapter one promises madcap mayhem. By the end of it, Chrissy has become the prime suspect in the murder of impotent celebrity football player Andrew "Bomber" Bomstad, who had come to Chrissy for counseling. An open bottle of wine on Chrissy's desk-and convincing evidence, exposed through Bomber's unzipped jeans, that the doctor had cured his problem-is enough to persuade hunky police detective Jack Rivera of Chrissy's likely guilt. Unfortunately, neither the plot nor characters develop much beyond this point. Jack remains unconvincingly convinced of Chrissy's guilt; she blunderingly tries to prove her innocence-period. And there's virtually no exploration of Chrissy's past, family or friends to suck readers in. Still, for a summer vacation read, simple sexy sport may well be just what the doctor ordered. Agent, Nancy Yost. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Lois Greiman is a modern day Dorothy Sayers.  Witty as hell, yet talented enough to write like an angel with a broken wing.”–Kinky Friedman, author of Ten Little New Yorkers

“This is an amazingly good book with tons of twists and turns.  And it's funny.  Chrissy's internal thoughts are hilarious, as are the situations she gets herself into.  Plus, the sexual tension between Chrissy and Rivera spices things up but never detracts from the pacing.  Greiman has put out a winner that will hopefully become a series.”–Romantic Times, Top Pick 
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440335559
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/31/2005
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 149,924
  • File size: 443 KB

Meet the Author

Born on a North Dakota cattle ranch, Lois Greiman graduated from a high school class of sixty students before moving to Minnesota where she professionally trained and showed Arabian Horses for several years. Since that time she's been a high fashion model, a fitness instructor, and a veterinary assistant. She currently lives on a small farm in Minnesota with her husband, three children, fifteen horses, and a menagerie of pets, where she is at work on the sequel to UNZIPPED, Unplugged, which Dell will publish in 2006.


From the Paperback edition.
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Read an Excerpt

1
Some people are street-smart, some people are book-smart, but most people are just dumber than dirt.
--Chrissy (Mac) McMullen, upon finding her boyfriend in the backseat of her Mazda with a majorette

MR. HOWARD LEPINSKI was an intelligent man. He was well educated, articulate, and precise. Unfortunately, he was about two aces short of a full deck.

"So what's your opinion?" he asked, peering at me through thick-lensed spectacles. He was a little man with a twitch, a mustache, and a strangely unquenchable need to discuss, in minute, droning detail, every decision that crossed his path.

I looked him full in the face. Dr. Candon, my psych professor, had once said he couldn't possibly overemphasize the importance of looking patients full in the face. It filled them with, and I quote here: ". . . the soothing reassurance that they have your undivided attention, not unlike that of a mother suckling her newborn." Perhaps I should consider the possibility that Dr. Candon had a few issues of his own, I thought.

"Ms. McMullen?"

"I'm sorry, Mr. Lepinski," I said, using my much-practiced nurturing tone. It was as far as I was willing to go on the suckling mother scenario. "I'm not certain I fully comprehend your question." The truth was, I'd become a smidgen distracted, but it was closing in on seven o'clock and I hadn't eaten since noon when I'd had a carton of cherry yogurt and a somewhat dehydrated orange. And if we're going to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't call that eating. It was merely something I did to prevent my mouth from committing suicide before dinnertime. On the other hand, the roll of flab that had engulfed my midriff since I'd kicked the nicotine habit . . . again . . . had become a rather ponderous problem and now threatened to droop over my waistband like rising bread dough--white, not wheat.

In some ways my life had been simpler as a cocktail waitress. True, delivering drinks to the town of Schaumburg's intoxicated populace had been hell on my bunions, and the propositions sent my way were often punctuated by belching of competition caliber, but at least in Chicago I'd had propositions. L.A. men were of a different breed. Which was what I had been hoping for, of course, but still . . .

"The sandwiches," Mr. Lepinski repeated. There were, I noticed, several droplets of sweat on his forehead. "Should I take pastrami or ham to work?"

I considered his luncheon dilemma with all due sobriety, but feared my sagacious expression might have been ruined by my rumbling gut. "Perhaps," I said forcefully, doing my best to drown out the sounds of impending starvation, "the question is not so much what you should take for lunch, but why you are so concerned about what you should take for lunch."

"What?" His mustache twitched like hamster whiskers, and he blinked at me, as if distracted from a run on his exercise wheel.

"I mean . . ." I steepled my fingers. I'd seen Kelsey Grammer do it on Frasier once and thought it looked pretty classy. Classy was good. Even now I regretted the less-than-classy splotch where I'd dropped cherry goop on my silk blouse. It was a burnt-umber color and matched the freshly refurbished hue of my hair. The blouse, that is, not the splotch. Elaine, my part-time secretary and full-time friend, had suggested trying club soda on the stain, but now I wondered if I couldn't just suck the stuff out of the fabric until I found something more substantial to sustain me. "Perhaps you should give some thought to why you're obsessing about sandwiches," I finished, nodding with ruminative intellect.

His twitching stopped abruptly, and his bird-bright eyes flickered toward the door and back as if he were considering flying the coop. "I am not obsessing," he said. His lips were pursed, his tone stilted, and in that moment I doubted he would have been more insulted if I had suggested his mother had, in fact, belonged to another species. Touchy! Still, it wasn't good to offend one's clients, not when one is in my financial straits. But the man was paying a hefty sum for his Thursday evening sessions and spent most of his time discussing brown-bag options. It seemed a little strange to me, but who am I to say? I once knew a guy who used seventeen different toothbrushes every day of the week. Seventeen. I was never sure why, even though I knew him pretty well. Intimately even. Okay, truth is, I'd lived with him for eighteen months. He was as loopy as hell, but he had great dental hygiene, and if I've learned anything in my thirty-odd years, it's that sometimes a girl can't be too fussy.

"Perhaps obsessing is not the proper word," I said. "I only mean, surely you have more important things to worry about."

Lepinski shifted his gaze once more toward the door, then returned his full attention to me and said, "I don't," in a tone that challenged me to disagree.

So I did what any fledgling therapist worth her double-matted, mahogany-framed diploma would do. I fantasized about fudge mocha and gave him another maternal smile.

"And I take umbrage with your choice of words," he added. "I am not, nor have I ever been, obsessed."

I considered telling him the truth, that he was as wacky as a tennis racquet, but when I glanced at the clock on the wall I saw that his time was up.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Lepinski," I said and managed, just barely, to avoid ejecting from my chair like a maniacal jack turned loose from his box. Instead, I rose with dignified calm and extended my hand. Thanks to Monique the magical manicurist, it was magnificently well groomed except for that one damned nail that had popped loose on my frenetic flight to work a full twelve hours before. "I'll see you next week."

He scowled as if considering the possibility of canceling his standing appointments, but the thought of handling his sandwich crises alone must have been too daunting, because he slipped a noodly hand into mine and nodded. "Next week," he said, not meeting my gaze. "Say, you have a stain on your . . ." He motioned, limp-wristed, toward my chest.

I extracted my hand and tucked my blouse more firmly beneath its coordinated jacket. It wasn't as though I was self-conscious. After all, the man wore canary yellow socks with his rumpled tweed suit.

"What is it? Ketchup?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"On your shirt. Is it ketchup?" he asked.

"No," I said, and gave him a smile that was polite but dismissive. I'd had a good deal of practice with polite-but-dismissive working at The Warthog in Schaumburg, just around the corner and down the street from where I'd grown up. "Have a good evening, Mr. Lepinski."

His mustache twitched again as if he might catch a scent of the fascinating stain. "Barbecue sauce?"

"I hope you don't mind seeing yourself out. I'm afraid my secretary had to leave early tonight."

"Tomato juice?"

On my desk, there was a letter opener shaped like a sword and stuck into a fake stone. It was more ornamental than utilitarian, but I wondered now if it might not make an effective weapon. Surely I couldn't be condemned for defending myself from mind-imploding frustration in the wake of nicotine withdrawal.

"I'm afraid I have another client, Mr. Lepinski."

"You put a little Mexican soap on that, it'll come right out," he said, still staring at my chest. I'm not Dolly Parton, but I'm not Calista Flockhart either. Still, I doubted if Lepinski had even considered the possibility that there was flesh hidden somewhere inside my overpriced ensemble. The stain was all-consuming. "Unless it's grape jelly. It's not, is it?"

I found, to my surprise, that my fingers had closed around the letter opener. It felt good in my hand. I could see the headlines. Hungry Psychologist Attacks Crazy Loon with Miniature Version of Excalibur. Maybe they'd want to edit that a little. Woman with Stained Blouse Assaults Wacko.

"Or grape juice. Grape juice--"

I raised the letter opener.

"Hello."

I jumped. Lepinski twitched. We turned toward the door in breathless tandem.

"Sorry to interrupt." Andrew R. Bomstad leaned through the doorway and grinned shyly at me. It was a strangely innocuous expression for such a large man, especially considering his past. He'd played tight end for the Lions until a groin injury had sidelined him from the glory of his gladiator days. Now he appeared on local commercials and owned stock in companies that probably netted him an hourly rate that was more than I made in a month. It was something of a mystery why he had chosen me as his therapist. But he had secrets he didn't want aired and maybe he thought I wouldn't have anyone of importance to tell, even if I broke my vow of confidentiality. "There's nobody at the receptionist desk. Didn't know if you'd heard me come in."

"No, I didn't," I said, returning his smile. True, Bomstad had his share of problems, but next to
Lepinski, he glowed with sparkling normalcy. "Sorry to keep you waiting."

"No. No problem. Take your time. I'm probably early," he said and smiling apologetically, closed the door behind him.

"Well," I said, and abandoned the letter opener with some regret. "Good night then, Mr. Lepinski."

He blinked. "Was that the Bomber?"

"Pardon me?"

"That was Andy Bomstad, wasn't it?"

"I'm not really in a position to say," I replied, but I've got to admit, it did my heart good to have a client who was recognized for something other than peeing on his neighbor's lawn. "Give some consideration to what we talked about this week, will you?"

"What's he here for?"

I stepped around my desk and reached out to usher him toward the door. Shoo now. Shoo, before I poke you in the eye with my thumb. "A client's visits are confidential. You know that, Mr. Lepinski."

"Professional or private?"

Ushering wasn't working. I opened the door with polite authority and considered tossing him into the hallway like yesterday's laundry. I was pretty sure I outweighed him by a good ten pounds. Not that I'm fat. "Good night, Mr. Lepinski."

He seemed to be thinking about pestering me some more, but one glance at Bomstad's impressive presence must have changed his mind, because he closed his mouth with a snap and stepped briskly through the lobby and out into the night, yellow socks flashing like lighthouse beacons.

I turned my attention from the crumpled little man and looked with some relief at my next client. His jeans were pressed just so and his shoes were Italian.

"Tough day?" he asked, and gave me that smile that had once made a roommate of mine compare him to Tom Cruise. My roommate's name had been Brian. For a while I had thought he was the one I'd take home to Mom--until I'd discovered the pictures of movie stars under our mattress. Male movie stars. "You keep taking on other folks' problems all day, you're gonna be worn right down to nothing."

Sympathy. I sighed mentally, but kept my chin up like a real trouper. "Easier than blocking a running back's rush with my head," I said, and he laughed as he rose to his feet and followed me into my office.

"Guess that depends on what you got in your head," he said. "But hey, the day's almost over, and this'll help, huh?"

"I beg your pardon?" I said, and he raised his hand. I noticed for the first time that he held the neck of a velvet bag that looked as if it might contain a bottle of wine.

"My doctor said a shot an evening would do me good."

"Ahhh." I couldn't think of anything more clever to say. This was a new one on me.

"And it looks like you could use some, too." He stepped into my office and took two water glasses from the tiny table that stood below the Ansel Adams reproduction. I wasn't a particular fan of Mr. Adams, but the print had been free and added to the airy panache of the place. "Chic environmentalist," it said. Or maybe "too broke to buy more stuff." But the office was small and didn't need a lot of clutter, I'd told myself. Bomstad took up most of the available space anyway. He extended a glass toward me. His hand was the approximate size of my head.

"I'm afraid the board frowns on fraternizing with clients," I said, imagining what the board would actually do if I shared a drink with him. Tar and feathers came to mind, but maybe that was being unfair. Maybe they'd go straight to lethal injection and not fiddle around with poultry.

"I won't tell 'em if you don't," Bomstad said as I settled into the rollered chair on the far side of my desk.

"No, thank you, Mr. Bomstad. But it's kind of you to offer." Gosh, I sounded professional.

He raised his brows and laughed. For a second I wondered why, but he was a nice guy with a great smile and an even better body. And after the men I'd been seeing for the past . . . oh . . . decade or so, it was fun just looking at him. Not that I was interested in him for myself, mind you. The California Board of Psychology may frown on drinking with clients, but they'd grind me into pate and serve me on whole wheat crackers if they found out I'd boinked one.

"You don't mind if I imbibe, I hope."

"No. Go ahead," I said. The truth was, I wasn't sure what the rules were about clients drinking during a session, but it seemed harmless enough to me.

He slipped the neck of the chilled bottle out of its burgundy bag. A small note dangled from the smooth green glass. It was Asti Spumante--my favorite. An odd coincidence, I thought, settling back into my chair as he poured.

"So how was your week?" he asked. Setting the bottle on the floor, he lowered himself to the couch.
I swiveled my chair toward him. "It was fine. How about yours?"

"A little hairy. Stocks are down."

"Are they?" Maybe I would have known that if I owned stocks. As it was most of my funds went to pay outdated school bills and a pessimistic banker. I owned an antiquated little cottage up in the valley. The yard looked like a rattlesnake habitat, Schwarzenegger would have struggled to wrestle the garage door into submission, and the entire place needed full time attention from a handy man with a sense of humor, but the house was mine, and I hoped to keep it that way.

"You don't worry about the market?" Bomstad asked.

"Not unless I'm making soup," I said.

From the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2006

    As funny as Stephine Plumb!

    I thought it was just as good as the Stephine Plum novels I have read. They are fun and witty.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2014

    Funny. I love reading these books. I laugh out loud each time.

    Funny. I love reading these books. I laugh out loud each time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Can't get enough "un"

    love the "un" series! Can't wait for more

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    zany

    really funny. crazy characters in zany situations. it's no Stephanie Plum but i want more!

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Good Read

    This is a good book. It has comedy, romance, and murder. A very good combination in a book I think. The characters are great. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2007

    Don't just sit there reading this--order it!

    Move over Moonlighting! If you recall that TV series (or even if you don¿t) you will not want to pass up this first-in-a-series¿¿Unzipped!¿ by Lois Greiman. Enter Chrissy McMullen, an L.A. psychotherapist with a penchant for fancy ice cream, sensible cars, and a seemingly unattainable lover/detective Jack Rivera. After a hunky patient, in a rather `Un-zipped¿ situation, drops dead at Dr. Chrissy¿s feet, the chase for his murderer is on. Though the chase, according to Rivera, points directly to Chrissy, there are oodles of suspicious characters, possible motives and tons of dead-ends (as well as dead bodies) swirling about. Greiman¿s knack for showing us the interior thoughts of Chrissy¿s complicated world keeps those pages turning yet the ultimate fascination as a reader, is the steamy-heat between Chrissy and Rivera. It burns and smokes, buttons go flying and in the end¿ Don¿t miss it¿and thank goodness this is only the beginning!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2005

    Funny new mystery

    Christina ¿Chrissy¿ McMullen is a psychologist in California. Ex-football player and celebrity Andrew ¿Bomber¿ Bomstad is one of her clients. He is, that is, until he drops dead in her office. He¿d come to Chrissy for help with his impotency problem. The police believe she killed him because there is an open bottle of wine in her office and evidence, in his unzipped jeans, that he had been cured of his problem. Things are not what they seem, but Chrissy can¿t make police detective Jack Rivera see this. He just keeps hounding her to tell him why she killed the Bomber. Chrissy ends up asking an acquaintance from her cocktail waitressing days, an acquaintance she¿d rather forget, to help her get some information on the Bomber because everything she¿s being told since his death doesn¿t match with what he¿d told her when he was alive. I like the way Chrissy plays with Rivera¿s name to get to him. She knows she didn¿t kill the Bomber even though the police think she did, so she sets out to figure out who did. This puts her in some sticky situations that are very funny. I laughed out loud almost every time I picked this book up to read more. I found it hard to put it down. I just wanted to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can¿t wait to read the next one. Chrissy is a hoot and a fun amateur sleuth. There is a love interest as well which kept me wanting to read more to find out what would happen. I highly recommend this book and can¿t wait for the next one. I want to see what trouble Chrissy can get into next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2005

    Coming Unzipped

    Christina McMullen has changed her life ¿ by changing her career. Going from a bartender to a psychotherapist might be a stretch, but she¿s managed to make a go of it. Her practice is growing and she¿s even got a famous client ¿ a former football player who is coming to her for help with his sex life. Things get a little weird when Bomber starts chasing her around her office, and they only get weirder when he keels over dead! To make things even worse, the Bomber was¿well¿unzipped at the time. Jack Rivera is the detective assigned to figure this whole thing out. At first he¿s not sure what to make of this loud, curvy shrink. He¿s sure she wasn¿t quite following the rules when it came to the Bomber. Christina has to persuade Jack she¿s no killer while she deals with a city full of people who really should be availing themselves of her services as a psychotherapist! Things get interesting when she decides to solve the case herself and she keeps getting ¿tangled¿ up with the sexy detective. Lois Greiman¿s contemporary tale will have you laughing out loud and sympathizing with both Christina and Jack as they attempt to get everything straightened out without getting ¿unzipped¿ themselves.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2005

    Watch out Janet Evanovich

    The humor, sexy heroine and impossible situations made me chuckle and even laugh out loud. Chrissy is an ex-cocktail waitress who has become a psychologist. Her attempts at mystery solving, being a 'professional' and capturing a man made this a great summer read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2005

    Add to YOUR must-read-now list!

    Reviewed by Carol Leuchovius 10 April 2005 | The heroine of this story, Christina McMullen, goes from hearing problems over the counter at a local bar to hearing problems of affluent citizens in a glitzy town over a thousand miles away. However, the reader gets the distinct feeling Christina had rather serve beer than work as a professional psychologist just as soon as a football star begins chasing her around her desk. The chase ends when the ¿Bomber¿ drops dead on her office floor! We learn the cause of his death ¿ start laughing out loud ¿ and we hardly stop until the end. Lieutenant Rivera is a brusque cop who needs to be sure the football star did, in fact, die without the help of Christina, who begins an investigation of her own in an effort to prove her innocence since Rivera doesn¿t exactly act overjoyed with relief when she exclaims she had nothing to do with Mr. Bomstad¿s death. The sheer frustration between Rivera and Christina nearly forces an anguished groan from our own throats; and they don¿t work together very well either. They¿re physically attracted to one another, yet hold back because of misinformation, miscalculation, and misfired accusations so that we think they¿ll never solve this crime which turns out to be related to several others. Others that threaten Christina¿s life. Christina uses antics that delve her into the unsavory world of drugs, money, and murder, involve her with unsavory people, put her in unsavory situations, but this is one savory suspense! I recommend this book for your own health; after all, laughter is much safer than viagra? Funny, intriguing, sexy, and adequately titled, Unzipped should find its way into your must-read-now stack as soon as possible.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Teriffic thriller

    After a series of unflattering lessons with the opposite sex, Christine McMullen thinks there is something seriously wrong with them and she wants to help them. Twelve years of waitressing and going for a degree allows her to become a psychologist practicing in California where she tries extra hard to straighten up men who come to see her for help. --- Her most famous patient is Andrew R. Bomstad, a wealthy former tight end for the NFL Lions who Christina is treating for impotency. She finds her renowned patient sensitive and caring until the day he brings in a bottle of her favorite alcoholic beverage; takes out his erect penis and tries to rape her. She fights with him trying to fend him off and the next thing she knows he is dead. Lieutenant Rivera believes she killed him in a lovers¿ quarrel and refuses to believe her when she tells him their relationship was professional. To clear her name Christine starts asking questions which result in her getting beat up, her brake line cut, and almost killed. --- Move over Stephanie Plum and Bubbles Yablonsky to make way for Christina McMullen, the newest blue collar sexy professional woman who finds herself in hair raising predicaments that almost get her murdered. The chemistry between the psychologist and the police lieutenant is so hot that readers will see sparks fly off the pages. Lois Greiman, who has written over fifteen delightful romance books, appears to have a great career as a mystery writer also.--- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2005

    Get UNZIPPED

    I could not put this book down. Christina McMullen is a 30-something cocktail-waitress-turned-psychologist. The story starts when her client, former football pro ¿Bomber¿ Bomstad, chases Christina around her office seeking ¿therapy¿ and drops dead. In walks hunky detective Jack Rivera, whose prime suspect is Christina. I got a kick out of Christina¿s efforts to maintain an outwardly professional manner, which stood in sharp contrast with her still-a-cocktail-waitress train of thought. Christina¿s internal dialogue and her intentional trouble using Rivera¿s name kept me grinning. The unfolding mystery, the suspense and the sparks flying between Christina and Rivera kept me reading. It¿s fun. It¿s light. It¿s a page-turner. So go ahead¿ get Unzipped. You¿ll enjoy it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2011

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