Holly Colshannon, the new crime reporter for the Bristol Gazette, has been assigned to shadow Detective James Sabine, who's less than thrilled to have the klutzy journalist tagging along. To make matters worse, Holly's editor has given her a special six-week column, complete with photos, that acts as a diary of her experiences. Now, as James tries to solve a series of burglaries, he has to deal with Holly, who's so accident-prone she's on a first-name basis with everyone in Casualty (the emergency room). He also must contend with a flamboyant photographer and the constant teasing of his colleagues at the station. James is ready to call it quits, but Holly's column about their adventures is growing in popularity. Then there's the little problem that, despite being engaged, James is beginning to like the spunky reporter. Readers who enjoy such hilarious romps as Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, Connie Lane's Guilty Little Secrets, and Harley Jane Kozak's Dating Dead Men will be delighted by the escapades of Holly and James. This book, which won the Parker Romantic Novel of the Year award in England, is a most impressive debut novel. Highly recommended for public library fiction collections of all sizes.-Shelley Mosley, Glendale Community Coll. Lib. Media Ctr., AZ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Opposites meet and inevitably attract in this amusing first effort. Beautiful Holly Colshannon is an ambitious, accident-prone junior reporter for the Bristol Gazette. Slightly more gorgeous James Sabine is a tough, tart-tongued detective sergeant with a chip on his shoulder. They meet cute in the first of many convenient coincidences, then butt heads again when the determined Holly sees a chance to further her career by tailing James for a six-week stint as a crime columnist that may be her first big break. She's got an insistent boss named Joe who wants to turn their provincial British newspaper around, and the formerly cursed crime beat that Holly's inherited just might boost sales. The main problem is James's absolute disdain for Holly and her mission. Days of ridicule and uncooperative behavior flick by. Joe eventually says the magic words, "Get some sort of repartee going with him!" No problem! James may be grumpy, but Holly's got spunk, and soon their icy glares give way to those glances that last just a little too long. Sound familiar? Thankfully, first-timer Mason offers enough genuinely funny writing to counter the cliches as the ill-matched couple trade verbal jabs while working toward solving a series of burglaries and Holly makes a round of adorable mistakes (hitting herself with her own knees, slipping on some candy, getting her toe stuck in a bottle) that endear her to James-and presumably to us. Between car staekouts and emergency-room visits, we meet James's aesthetically pleasing fiancee and Holly's perfunctory but handsome boyfriend. Meanwhile, stock figures-the loyal best friend, the lovable flamboyant gay man-wander in and out of the plot. Do they catch the burglar intime? Will Holly confess her love for James? Does the column get her what she wants? Stop me if you've heard this one before . . . . Momentum and humor almost win out against the obvious. Agent: Kathleen Anderson/Anderson Grinberg