THE DEAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
Crane uses her deep knowledge of Hollywood and the film industry to bring depth and reality to her story. Her characters are smart, savvy and witty and the plot is pitch perfect. One can only hope Crane has many more adventures in store for her snoopy real estate broker heroine with the movie-star mother.
Nikki Harper may be the realtor to the stars, but her amateur sleuthing really gets her into trouble. When Ryan Melton, the trophy husband of brat packer celebrity Diara Elliot, is murdered with a leash, Nikki knows that dog walker Alison Sahira could not have committed the crime. Never mind that Nikki’s boyfriend — and Alison’s brother — Jeremy believes his sister could be involved. Adding to the intrigue, the ambitious Diara is starring in a television series with Nikki’s mother, Victoria Bordeaux, dragging Nikki even deeper into the mystery. But Nikki doesn’t know that Alison has her finger on a secret that someone, maybe even Diara’s fellow brat packers, would kill to keep from coming to light. As Nikki digs further to find the real culprit, she could become the next victim of a high-profile killer. (KENSINGTON, Sep., 272 pp., $25.00)