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by Sam Baker

Pub Date: May 31st, 2005
ISBN: 0-345-47587-9
Publisher: Ballantine

A reporter inadvertently discovers the latest in casket wear.

Burned out from her exposé of juvie prostitutes for the London Post, Annie Anderson accepts a less dangerous assignment: go undercover at Handbag magazine to dish the dirt on fashionistas. Packing her borrowed Pradas, she’s off to the New York spring openings in the wake of ultra-chic editor Rebecca Brooks, who wants her to interview new designer Mark Miller. Mark talks to her about everything except his relationship with druggie supermodel Patty Lang and the plans for his fledgling company. Will he sell it to Mariolina Mantolini, rumored to be near bankruptcy, or to Ugo Baroni, rumored to be connected after the Sicilian fashion? He doesn’t get to pick because he’s gunned down. Mark’s mentor, Guido Brasco, refuses to talk to Annie, but Patty refuses to shut up, keeping her on the phone for hours. At length the scene shifts to the Milan showings, where Patty is murdered, warehouses are stocked with ripoffs, and Annie can’t decide whether to trust Baroni’s international ad executive and has to call on her Post editor to get her out of a really bad jam and back to London.

Rife with brand names, big hair, anorexic hipbones and catty, competitive women. First-novelist Baker, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan UK, plans a sequel.