Another Carson Springs murder, given more than due diligence by Goudge (Taste of Honey, 2002, etc.).
Why would shy, formerly overweight, mousy Anna Vicenzi want to kill her glamorous sister? (1) Monica wasn’t very nice; (2) Monica was a world-famous movie star; (3) Monica drank like a fish and hated everybody, especially after the speedboat accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Nonetheless, her fans still adored her, even if they never knew Anna was the one who dutifully answered their e-mail, posing as Monica with heartfelt but down-to-earth advice. No one saw mean old Monica drown in the pool of her million-dollar mansion after someone pushed her in, wheelchair and all. But a lot of people in Carson Springs think Anna did it—hey, wait . . . it’s flashback time! Monica was sexually assaulted as a girl by their drunken father Joe, mutters Betty, their deranged mother. Anna and her sister Liz do remember vicious beatings and terrified cries in the night, but they didn’t know that. Gee, maybe that’s why Monica was always so bitchy. She drank to hide the pain, huh? (Dated-sounding group therapy sessions are rehashed to make this point several times.) Ah, sweet mystery of life: at last Anna finds love as sexy therapist Marc Raboy encourages her to admit her codependent rage and seek closure. How did she really feel about her sister? Angry, and ashamed of her anger. But Anna counts her blessings and realizes that she’s much luckier than Monica! She finds out that other people have terrible problems too. For example, Marc’s wife is a schizophrenic, in an institution. Talk about your insurmountable obstacles to true love! But Marc always does the right thing, even helping Anna and her chums look for the real killer. Could it be a freaky fan? But which one? Will the culprit will show up at Monica’s funeral?