New Haven police reporter Annie Seymour is pulled out of bed and sent to a crime scene. When she discovers that the murder victim is a student at Yale by day and a high-priced escort by night, she realizes that the story is a lot meatier than anyone initially thought.

As Annie digs further into the killing, she discovers that Melissa Peabody's death is just the tip of an iceberg of corruption that has engulfed the highest levels of New Haven society. Not only must Annie deal with her cop boyfriend, an overeager cub reporter, her mother and a devastatingly attractive private investigator, but New Haven is being invaded by a parade of fiberglass cows.

Winner of the first Sara Ann Freed Memorial Award, this is a fantastic debut novel and an engaging, well-written mystery. The plot is a trifle baroque, and while the fiberglass cows are amusing, their presence is more gimmicky than essential. (Sep., 290 pp., $21.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs