Sam Jones is back! Lauren Henderson's sexy, streetwise artist-cum-detective returns in Freeze My Margarita, the sequel to her enormously popular Black Rubber Dress.
A chance meeting in a fetish club with an old friend from art school leads to a new sculpting job for Sam: creating a series of mobiles for an avant-garde production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Plunged into the strange world of theater, Sam mingles with a bizarre, vexing, but often amusing cast of characters, including the appalling Helen, the girlfriend of Sam's best friend Janey, and Hugo, an enigmatic and acidly humorous actor with a wry Peter Wimsey drawl and a perfectly shaped bottom. After a long string of disappointing boyfriends, Sam may have finally met her match with Hugo. Now if she could only figure out whether or not he's gay...
This pressing state of affairs is overshadowed only by the discovery of a decomposing body in the basement beneath the theater. Sam, who's unfortunately grown accustomed to stumbling across dead bodies, is hardly fazed, but as the mysterious deaths increase and a practical joker starts to sabotage performances of the play, Sam realizes that unless the killer is caught, she may be facing her own curtain call.
|Publisher:||Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.18(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.82(d)|
About the Author
Lauren Henderson divides her time between Italy and London, and, when not wine-tasting, writes full-time.
Read an Excerpt
The man on his hands and knees in front of me had been there for a few minutes already, but in this establishment that was nothing out of the ordinary. I didn't realize at once that he was asking me something; the Velvet Underground were pounding lugubriously out of the speakers at a high enough volume to drown out anyone speaking in an appropriately servile tone of voice.
"Can I lick your boots clean?"
"I'm sorry, what?" I ducked my head. Rearing up on his knees, he said more loudly:
"Can I lick your boots clean?"
I shrugged. "Be my guest." His face fell. "You filthy little piece of scum," I added, not wanting to disappoint. He cheered up at once and ducked down, tongue poking out of the slit in his leather mask. But just as I turned back to the conversation he had interrupted, a horrible realization struck me.
"Oh my God, they're suede! Stop it! They'll be ruined!" I kicked out involuntarily. He curled over on one side and started moaning:
"Sorry, mistress, sorry, I'm a bad slave, do with me what you will. . . ."
"Do with me what you will?" I said sotto voce to Janey. She shrugged.
"Been reading too much Anne Rice."
"Mrs. Radcliffe, more like." I looked down at the bad slave and, feeling guilty at having deprived him of his fun, prodded his rubber bodysuit with the heel of my boot. He whimpered in ecstasy.
"I never know how they manage to let the sweat out in those things," I said to Janey.
"Oh well, at least he didn't claim to be the slave in Pulp Fiction," she said. "I've had three of those already this evening. So unoriginal. I like your dress, by the way."
"Thanks." I looked down at myself complacently. "Makes me feel like Scarlett O'Hara."
She gave me a frankly uncomprehending stare. "Ran it up out of a pair of old curtains, did you? I'd like to see the room they were hung in."
"The lacing, idiot." Without a Mammy to pull me in while I gripped onto the bedpost, I hadn't quite achieved an eighteen-inch waist, but it was still considerably restrained. And my bosom, never insubstantial at the best of times, was now resting precariously just under the top of my leather corset, propped up by what felt like most of the flesh that should have been covering my ribcage.
I looked around to see a slave heading towards me at full lick, rather like an out-of-control Labrador, dragging his handler behind him on the leash. At first I didn't realize who he was; his features were obscured by two wide strips of leather, one over his eyes, the other over his mouth, secured at the back by a cross-piece. The zips that would have made him blind and dumb were hanging open, and squinting through them I began to distinguish a familiar face. He was wearing a black rubber sleeveless bodysuit, which at least allowed the air around his armpits to circulate.
"Eet's been so long!" he was exclaiming. "How are you?"
With the clue of the accent, I pinned down his identity: Salvatore, Sally to his friends, one of a gang of gay Sicilians who had for that very reason emigrated en masse to London. We had been at art school together, but our paths hadn't crossed for years.
"Hi, Sally." I did my best to kiss him hello, though the straps kept getting in the way. Janey had meanwhile struck up a conversation with some guy who'd been trying to catch her attention for the past half an hour and was now deep in a monologue about the latest power politics at Channel 4; she was a TV script editor. Disturbing her to introduce Sally would have been like breaking into the middle of Mass to ask the priest what the time was.
Sally looked round pleadingly at his handler. "Meestress, thees ees an old friend. May I harmbly talk to her for a few minutes?"
"Only if you obey her every command," said his mistress, handing the leash over to me. Her heels were so high that her calf muscles stood out like clenched fists. I took it gingerly. I've never really liked being responsible for other people.
"Um, buy me a drink," I suggested. "And that's an order."
"Two of the usual," Sally said to the barman. "On my account."
"You have an account here?"
"Not really. I give heem the merney at the end of the evening. I can't carry money een thees." He indicated the latex bodysuit. I saw what he meant.
The barman was already placing two identical concoctions in front of us, the salt rim to the glasses contrasting prettily with the pale aquamarine liquid inside.
"What's that colour?" I said warily, reminded of mouthwash.
"Blue curaçao," said the barman proudly. "Half and half with the triple sec. They're blue margaritas."
"Aren't they fabulous!" Sally enthused. "Eet's my dreenk of the year."
"Ever since the time some wally brought a bottle of crème de menthe to a cocktail party and made us Peppermint Somethings that tasted like toothpaste and cream, I've stuck to the whisky sours," I said, picking up my glass. I sipped tentatively. "God, this is delicious." Instantly converted, I took a good pull at my straw.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sam Jones is one of the best, most unusual heroines I've run across. The writing is fresh and vivid (and very British). I read it straight through. This particular novel, set in the theatre, is so true to my own experiences with personalities, tone, and environment (although, thankfully, there were no dead bodies in my world!) that I bought copies and mailed them to my girl friends who work in set design and directing. I highly recommend it.
After thoroughly enjoying Black Rubber Dress, I could hardly wait to read Ms. Henderson's next book, Freeze My Margarita. I found it a bit disappointing, though, largely lacking a plot, and in general much less inspired than its predecessor. Sam's sexual encounters lacked the voltage that had distinguished the first book, and although there still was some humor, it failed to reach the level of keen wit achieved in Black Rubber Dress. Sam is a winner of a character, however, and I hope that a third book gets the series back on track.