This urbane, charming debut introduces Angie DaVito, newly rehired executive producer of the soap opera Bright Tomorrow, who loves her job-until she finds the nude body of her boss, dead of a gunshot, in the star's dressing room. Suspects with motives abound since almost everyone in the cast and crew had tangled with egotistical, womanizing Gregg Whithall. Tough-as-nails Angie, whom readers know has a heart of gold, keeps the show going amidst gossip and rampant rumors. She copes with Whithall's successors, to whom murder might be just a career step, and the anxiety of her former lover, a writer for the show whose wife might have been having an affair with the victim. On the case is equally competent NYPD Detective Teresa O'Hanlon, unawed by cast and management. The Bright Tomorrow staff chooses to tell Angie, rather than the cop, what they know; as unofficial investigator, Angie becomes the repository of information which endangers her life. Shaffer's snappy pacing, intricate plotting and recognizable characters are likely to enchant even those who don't watch soaps. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Veteran soap actress Shaffer (perhaps best known for her role as Rae on the now-defunct "Ryan's Hope") takes a shot at mystery writing and turns out to be pretty good at it. Naturally, Shaffer has chosen a soap setting, which will prove a hoot for daytime fans. The premise is appropriately splashy: the roundly disliked president of daytime programming for the ABN network is found dead in a dressing room on the set of "Bright Tomorrow"--not just dead, but naked, with a gold lamé rose laid on his penis. Angie DaVito, the show's producer, soon finds herself attempting to solve the crime. Of course, there is a police presence here, too, in the character of steely NYPD detective Teresa O'Hanlon, but as in so many mysteries, it's the amateur sleuth who gets to have all the fun. Shaffer's bright, witty, first-person narrative works particularly well, and the story has a sly ending, less expected than many soap-opera story lines. This is the first of a series; tune in tomorrow for more Daytime Crime Mysteries.