At least it isn't Lucy Freers's producer husband who's been shot to death in his BMW down in Topanga Canyon; it's only her...

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PLAYING DEAD

At least it isn't Lucy Freers's producer husband who's been shot to death in his BMW down in Topanga Canyon; it's only her daughter Chloe's live-in nanny, Brandon McKenna. But since Brandon was Lucy's first lover back in college, and since the absence of identification that caused the initial confusion wasn't because his driver's license was stolen but because he didn't have one, Lucy has to face the fact that the man she trusted with both her virginity and her daughter was leading a life she didn't know anything about. Item: a gay history teacher at the Windermere Academy, Chloe's exclusive school, reveals that he and Brandon were lovers. Item: a shocking videotape Brandon hid in an utterly unexpected place (its discovery gives Maracotta her best scene) indicates that he'd witnessed the murder of a casting director by a child actor two years earlier. Alternately egged on and warned off by LAPD Det. Teresa Shoe, whom she last annoyed in The Dead Celeb (1997), Lucy descends into the cutthroat world of juvenile stardom to find out which adorable kiddie pushed Joyce Korhsalek down a flight of stairs. The results of Lucy's stint among stage mothers and parents and their monstrous progeny are more likely to provoke disgust than amusement. Even Lucy is unusually subdued, though she does take time to note such worthies as the lady in "a lemonade-colored pant suit with a double-breasted jacket, tastefully accessorized with discreet pearl earrings, a ruby and grass green chiffon scarf, and a gun."

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: ---

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1999