Freelance writer Jaine Austen needs work to keep herself and her cat Prozac from starving. She agrees to ghost-write a book for Beverly Hills socialite SueEllen Kingsley, even though Jaine knows that the material is too vapid to ever be published.
Then SueEllen is murderedfound in her tub, fried by her own blow-dryerand police suspect her teenage stepdaughter. But Jaine knows Heidi didn't do it and begins her own investigation. Someone takes exception to this, and before Jaine knows it her life hangs in the balance.
This is third novel in Levine's series, which gets stronger with each book. Her dialogue is realistic yet hilarious, and her vivid characters jump off the page. The mystery is well plotted and the killer a complete surprise. (Jul., 240 pp., $22.00)