A 1940s radio writer goes undercover among the staff of a rival program.
When things get too hot in Los Angeles for screenwriter Lauren Atwill, she and hunky bodyguard Peter Winslow head for New York to escape the press. Alas, Lauren’s scheduled script meeting with Hazel Keane, producer of the leading radio serial Adam Drake, For Hire, is canceled when Hazel is bludgeoned and stabbed to death in the Keane Productions offices. The murder scene is on the eighth floor of the Emory Building, which houses the Adam Drake staff on one side of the building and the creators of its competitor, Love Always, on the other. Lauren resolves to prove the city cops wrong in their belief that a handyman did it. Using chutzpah, a new hair color, an alias and her pull with an L.A. connection, she signs on as an Adam Drake writer. She’s soon encumbered with office politics, romantic entanglements, family feuds and a mind-bogglingly complicated floor plan. (Thank goodness the book includes a map.) How did the murderer get in, get out, stash the weapon and escape unnoticed? More mayhem ensues, along with more office politics, more romantic entanglements and more family feuds—until a script reading with sound effects in all the right places provides the answers.
Readers with a taste for nostalgia will welcome the period lingo and atmosphere from York (Star Struck Dead, 2003). But the locked-venue puzzle, an obvious salute to John Dickson Carr, is tedious.