SECOND TIME AROUND
Tina Wainscott continues to be a delightful spinner of tales rich with magic and wonder.
Jennie Carmichael had been in love with her Private Eye boss, Sam Magee, for years. Wheelchair bound for much of her life, Jennie never dreamed that Sam could see her as anything other than his best Girl Friday. Life as Jennie has known it comes to an abrupt end when she accidentally falls down a flight of stairs. Knowing that she is dying, her one wish is that she had told Sam that she loved him. Through a misty haze, Jennie hears a voice tell her that a lucky few are given a second chance; when she recovers consciousness, Jennie discovers herself lying outside of Sam's office.
Amazed to find herself with working legs, Jennie realizes that her second chance at life includes a different body. The problem is that the body in question formerly belonged to Maxine Lizbon, Sam's ex-wife. The former Maxine came to see Sam for a reason, the wound on her head had definitely been fatal -- so what happened to Maxine?
Deciding to keep her true identity to herself, Jennie/Maxine struggles to cope with her new life. She now apparently has a rich, if eccentric fiance named Armand Santini. When Jennie returns to the Santini home, she quickly realizes that the old Maxine's accident was no accident. Figuring that the murderer will try again, Jennie maneuvers Sam into playing her bodyguard.
Can Jennie find a way to make Sam fall in love with the new and improved Maxine? If they don't find the culprit soon, Jennie's second chance may be all too brief.
Tina Wainscott continues to be a delightful spinner of tales rich with magic and wonder. (Oct., 310 pp., $5.99)