The book recovers from an awkward start. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, many of them narcissistic, crass teenage twits…But O'Connor gets the story rolling and treats us to a neat little murder mystery. It's hard not to love a book in which grammar features as a clue to the identity of a killer.
The New York Times
Wielding "her weapon of choice, a lethally sharpened Cole-erase blue pencil," Miranda "Rannie" Bookman makes a dynamic sleuth in O'Connor's lively romantic suspense debut. The plucky freelance copyeditor and single mom is shocked when her son, Nate, becomes a suspect in the murder of A. Lawrence "Tut" Tutwiler, director of college admissions for the exclusive Chapel School on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Parents will kill to get their kids into "Chaps," where Nate's a senior and Rannie's taken a temporary part-time job. Will Chaps students also kill to get into the right university? Has recovering addict and former student Grant Werner come back for revenge? Or is the S.W.A.K. serial killer stalking the Upper West Side now targeting Chaps's faculty members? O'Connor, a veteran children's book author (Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy), proves she can also please adults with a fresh, grammatically correct crime solver equally adept at deleting dangling participles and exposing psychotic killers. (Aug.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Adult/High School -Miranda Bookman is disappointed with the state of her life. Divorced with two kids, she has ambled through a string of shallow and short-lived romances. Perhaps most embarrassing is her public exit from the publishing world as a result of an editing mistake in the title of a "Nancy Drew" novel. But Rannie's life begins to take on the drama and excitement of a real-life mystery after the suspicious death of the director of college admissions at her son's upscale private academy, Chapel School. Her current job of giving tours to applicant families at Chaps gives Rannie the opportunity to explore the mystery of this soon-to-be murder investigation. However, murder isn't the only puzzle in her life. Her new relationship with Tim Butler, the father of another student, is clouded by the secrecy surrounding his widowhood and exit from the police force. In addition to Rannie's own emerging steamy relationship, there is a romantic plot involving her teenage son will intrigue romance fans. The ritzy Manhattan setting is almost a subplot as well; it is sure to attract fans of Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" series (Little, Brown). Ultimately, readers will be satisfied by the dangerous, nail-biting ending.-Lynn Rashid, Marriots Ridge High School, Marriotsville, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
An out-of-work copy editor starts snooping when the admissions counselor at her son's prep school dies at the height of applications season. Fired from Simon & Schuster for missing an unforgivable typo (a missing "l" in the title of a reissue of the Nancy Drew classic Secret of the Old Clock), single Jewish mom Rannie Bookman is reduced to giving pre-admission tours of Chapel School, the snooty Upper West Side private institution her children attended courtesy of her moneyed ex. Alice, now at Yale, is strong and steady, but Nate has his issues. He plans to attend Stanford instead of an Ivy League school, balks at the tasteless fare served by his WASP grandma Mary's maid Earla, who "never overspices," and has the hots for rich, rebellious Olivia Werner, who won't finish her Princeton essay because she wants to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology. His biggest problem, however, is that he was the last to see A. Lawrence Tutwiler before Tut was found dead in his office. It's only partly because of Nate that Rannie tails Augusta Hollins, whose relationship with the much-older Tut intrigues her. Her curiosity may threaten more than her burgeoning relationship with down-to-earth Tim Butler. Children's author O'Connor (The Snow Globe Family, 2006, etc.) offers unusually compelling depictions of adult sexuality in her frank, funny adult debut. Agent: Douglas Stewart/Sterling Lord Literistic Inc.