"Short-story writer Conway's jump to novel length is as lean and sexy as her cardio-kickboxing heroine." - Kirkus Reviews
Nicola is having a really bad day. She's tired of her job, her boss, and even her San Francisco apartment, which she's just heard she's being evicted from anyway. Her life's only excitement is fueled by fantasy – about the expensive lingerie she wears under her business suits, about a man she sees at lunch every day, a darkly handsome man she calls Chorizo, after the kind of pizza he orders. She's flat-out tired of her life, and nothing brings it home more than running into her annoying but harmless ex-husband, Scooter, on the way to work.
But if ever anyone learns a lesson in "be careful what you wish for," it's Nicola, because suddenly her life seems to be full of excitement. First she gets kidnapped after kickboxing class by two inept teenagers who, it turns out, aren't your garden-variety ransom kidnappers at all. But before she can resolve this situation, her innocent flirtation with Chorizo turns sinister. Suddenly Nicola's problem is no longer how to survive her boredom but how to survive, period. All in all, Martha Conway's debut is a deliciously hip, sexy, and suspenseful crime novel.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||280 KB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
After her divorce Nicola began buying lingerie: dark blue contour bras, demi bras in little-girl white, embroidered bustiers, stretch mesh chemises, and a red girdle with removable garters that the catalog listed as a Jolly Susan. She wore silk panties to work, and at night bathed in almond oil baths, the scent of which reminded her of the young boy in Istanbul who’d sold her husband a wallet. That had been their last trip together as a couple, a belated sort of honeymoon. But it was just another mistake, along with the home hair-care pyramid scheme, the water bed, and Scooter’s office fling (if you could call a video-delivery van an office), all of which led to Nicola’s increasing awareness that her husband was unstable – and not in the fun way.
---from 12 Bliss Street
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was pleasantly surprised how strong Martha Conway's first novel is. 12 Bliss Street is a true rarity -- a gripping, well-plotted crime novel that is taut, funny, and full of interesting, rich characters. Martha has an incredibly deft hand. She can go from a very delicate, sensitive first date, first kiss scene -- to a savage cruel snuff-film murder. The changes of pace are startling and intense, very filmic material. Her characters are a pleasure. Nicola, the heroine, is smart, funny, but not your typical hard-beaten crime novel type. She's just a regular web developer with a vivid imagination and a thing for wearing lingerie to work. She gets entangled with criminals, but proves smarter than them! With many pleasant surprises, laugh-out-loud criminal bumbling, and a stunningly gripping finale, I can't recommend this novel highly enough. Go out and read it right now!
One day after getting off the San Francisco Muni Train, Nicola thinks she sees her ex-husband who she hasn¿t laid eyes on for three years. From there her day goes downhill rapidly with a cranky boss and an irate customer. When she goes out to her usual restaurant for lunch, she meets the man she has been non-verbally flirting with for weeks and they finally talk. He asks her out on a date but though she is tempted, she chickens out. The next bad happening is when two college students kidnap her and by the time Nicola convinces them she has no idea what is going on, they become nervous and call the man who hired them. Just as she suspected, the man turns out to be Scooter who wants to borrow money from her to pay off a loan shark. She agrees to talk to the bookie¿s nephew who turns out to be a good looking and attractive man who wants to be a food critic. They start dating but the man who Nicola turned downed at the restaurant is looking for her because she¿s a loose end that needs tying up before he gets out of the snuff film business. 12 BLISS STREET is a funny upbeat chick-lit mystery starring a feisty resolute woman determined not to lose control in any situation. The villain is vile in a funky kind of way but the funniest character is the ex-husband who is always trying to reach for the gold ring only to find it¿s made foolishly of brass. Martha Conway is writing for the thirty-something crowd who will adore this work. Harriet Klausner