Like many a stay-at-home mom, Jane Jeffry decides to take the hours she hasn’t spent parking her new SUV where nobody will hit it and put them to good use—writing a mystery novel.
Unlike so many budding Mary Higgins Clarks, Jane has no trouble finding a publisher. All she has to do is register at the mystery convention meeting conveniently in her hometown and check into the luxury suite permanently reserved for her next-door-neighbor Shelley Nowack’s family (Shelley’s husband is an investor). Before she even has time to warm her feet on the heated bathroom tile, Felicity Roane, her favorite writer, has asked Jane and Shelley to breakfast, impatiently shooing away anyone who tries to intrude on their tête-à-tête-à-tête. And although baby agents Gretta and Tiffany don’t think much of her manuscript, Felicity’s editor friend Melody Johnson is so tickled by its house plans that she snaps it up, leaving Jane just enough time to find out who poisoned heartless editor Sophie Smith and conked chauvinist reviewer Zac Zebra, deflate e-published blowhard Vernetta Strausman, unmask nefarious gossip columnist Miss Mystery, and invite longtime squeeze Mel Van Dyne to try out all six of her bathroom’s showerheads.
If it weren’t so earnest and its prose so flat, Jane’s fairy-tale 14th adventure (The House of the Seven Mabels, 2002, etc.), where an unemployed widow can buy a fuel-efficient SUV off the lot for cash, would be positively surreal.