Kensington, Jul 2004, 22.00, 234 pp.
Though she would prefer to say no to Beverly Hills socialite SueEllen Kingsley, writer Jaine Austen needs the money so that she and Prozac the cat can eat in the style that Ben & Jerry recommend. She knows if offered she will ghostwrite an insipid mess. Before meeting SueEllen, Jaine meets her client's stepdaughter fifteen years old overweight Heidi, who warns her that within a week she will quit because no one survives the queen of mean. The interviews starts out strange as SueEllen resides in a giant bathtub and Jaine cannot get her eyes off of the perfect boobs that apparently was a present from her plastic surgeon husband.
Jaine sits on the toilet while SueEllen dictates her memoir At Home with SueEllen. Quickly she considers quitting and giving up $3,000 a week instead of trying to fix a book that has recipes that start with the maid and the cook doing the work. But SueEllen is electrocuted in her tub by her hairdryer. The police believe Heide was killed her stepmother, but the teen insists she saw a blond run from their home. Jaine likes Heide and begins an investigation hoping to find the KILLER BLONDE.
The third Austen amateur sleuth tale is an amusing story as Jaine provides a stand up comic's running soliloquy. The SueEllen-Heide relationship sounds some what like “Mommy Dearest” so the teen makes a perfect suspect.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner