Working in a human resources department can be a challenge, but when you also work for a TOD (tyrannical office despot) like Amy Jenkins, it is a major pain. Kate Mackenzie would like her job at The New York Journal a lot more if Amy would just back off. Kate's life is already complicated enough with an ex-boyfriend who won't let go and her inability to find an affordable apartment.

Unfortunately for Kate, she is about to be caught up in a wrongful-termination claim. When Amy orders Kate to fire Ida Lopez, the very popular cafeteria lady, Kate is horrified. Granted, Ida refused to give Head Attorney Stuart Hertzog a piece of her key lime pie, but Ida is an institution. After Kate carries out the termination, she gets caught up in Ida's counter-claim of wrongful termination. The only positive thing to come out of this debacle is meeting up with attorney Mitch Hertzog, Stuart's younger brother, who thank god, is nothing like his sibling. But unhappily for Kate, her life is about to get even more weirdly complicated. Single life in the city sure can be a pain.

Cabot strikes again. As in her previous book, The Boy Next Door, Cabot uses e-mail communication to tell her story. This unique method of forwarding the plot is surprisingly effective, creative and downright funny. (Jan., 400 pp., $13.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith