An elusive writer is murdered in spite of the tameness of her latest tell-all.
Although Miranda “Rannie” Bookman has been carefully instructed by her former police officer boyfriend, Tim Butler, that she’s absolutely not allowed to get involved in any more trouble, it’s difficult to keep to the straight and narrow now that Simon & Schuster has given her more free time by letting her go. When senior editor Ellen Donahoe offers Rannie some freelance work copy editing a top-secret new release and Rannie signs the appropriate disclosure agreement, she’s thrilled to find out the gig is editing Ret Sullivan’s latest. Ret is known for digging the dirt on celebrities; that’s what got her in trouble years before, when she uncovered a particularly juicy tidbit about a star who got revenge in a personal way. Rannie expects Ret’s book to be an exposé, especially because it’s about wealthy, little-known Charlotte Cummings. But the biography is definitely more tame than Ret’s other work. When Rannie shows up at Ret’s and finds the reclusive writer tied to the bed and strangled, she’s all the more shocked since she knows that Charlotte’s family would have no reason to exact revenge on Ret. Rannie feels an obligation to understand what happened to Ret, and she suspects it’s related to a mysterious dedication in Ret’s latest work: to “Audeo.” If only Rannie can figure out Audeo’s identity, she may have the key to the murder.
O’Connor (Dangerous Admissions, 2007) definitely has an insider’s view of the publishing world, though she doesn’t make the romantic aspects of Rannie’s life nearly as interesting.