A romance writers’ convention becomes the latest high-mortality zone.
In Cooper’s latest (Vegas Nerve, 2007, etc.), romance novelist and amateur sleuth E.J. Pugh, who’s been nominated for a award, is rooming with the legendary Maybella LaRue, aka Jane Dawson, at her first convention in Austin, Texas. Although the two have never met, they’ve become good friends through e-mails and phone calls. Despite the annoying ways of Angela Barber, the unpublished writer running the convention, E.J. and her newfound friends are having a fine time until E.J. discovers Jane’s body at the bottom of a stairwell and becomes the main suspect. It’s been awhile since her last involvement with murder, but E.J. starts sleuthing. Who among Jane’s longtime friends and possible enemies would kill the popular author? When a star-struck fan becomes the second victim, E.J. ignores police warnings and keeps on digging for clues. At home, E.J.’s children are getting into trouble on their own. With help from her sister Megan, E.J.’s daughter Elizabeth, adopted after her family was murdered, is online arranging to meet with a person claiming to be her older brother. Meanwhile, E.J.’s son Graham schemes to meet a hot date at a dubious bowling alley. It takes a lot of fancy footwork for the Pugh family to survive unscathed.
A fast-paced whodunit that mixes the plainspoken E.J. with double the thrills and chills.