A peremptory summons from her mother, Edwina, brings Los Angeles literary agent Charlie Greene (Death of the Office Witch, 1993, etc.) high-tailing it out to the Utah desert even before Edwina's arrested for murder. Seems that biology prof Edwina, who's been hired as technical advisor to the documentary Return of an Ecosystem, has a million complaints not only about scientific inaccuracies in the documentary but about the scorch- and-burn tactics of Gordon Cabot, who's directing a Z-grade feature called Animal Aliens just over the next sand dune. And since Edwina's wheedled Charlie, and Charlie's unwitting agency, to represent her, it makes perfect sense for Charlie to drop everything and rush to her side, where she'll come in very handy when Gordon is axed (literally) and her mom railroaded into the pokey. Millhiser, who doesn't stint on plotting, sends the story hurtling from a second fatality on the shoot to Charlie's Pit Stop Motel idyll with Hollywood hunk Mitch Hilsten (a one-nighter that makes national headlines the next day) and a wild, jokey boat trip--the cast of And Then There Were None adrift in the Grand Canyon--before dusting off one of her uniformly demented Tinseltown types for the featured role as the culprit. Funny and deadly accurate on Charlie's caustic relations with her mother and daughter, with appropriately creepy criminal relief. Charlie's best outing yet.