Trouble and murder again dog tabloid paparazza Nina Zero, jeopardizing her affair with a hot cop.
Nina’s fifth outing begins with the opening of her photographic show at the upscale Leonora Price Gallery in Santa Monica. She’s accompanied by her faithful canine bodyguard, “The Rott,” and by her teenaged niece Cassie, a legacy from her late sister Sharon. Nina, not your ordinary surrogate mom, has been worrying about Cassie’s volatile combination of naïveté and rebelliousness. Fortunately, the teen has bonded with Nina’s two models, Christine and Nephthys. And the evening looks up when Nina engages in some serious flirting with the handsome Sean, a guest of her Scandal Times boss Frank. But Christine’s uncharacteristic absence casts a pall over the show, a pall that deepens when a hiker finds her body in the mountains north of Malibu. The case goes from sad to scary with the arrival of an anonymous video showing Christine in a torture chamber. Soon after Nina starts to probe the local S&M scene, she begins to receive unambiguously ominous signals—such as the appearance of a dead rat in her apartment. Meanwhile, the course of true love hits a pothole when Nina learns that Sean is a police detective and he learns that she’s a convicted felon on parole.
Nina’s addictive escapades (Digging James Dean, 2005, etc.) grow in depth and complexity, with mystery on the side.