Tribute

Nora Roberts, Author
Nora Roberts, Author . Putnam $26.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-399-15491-1
Reviewed on: 04/07/2008
Release date: 07/01/2008
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Roberts sets her underwhelming latest in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, where former child star Cilla McGowan rehabs her famous grandmother's long-neglected farm. Cilla's movie-star grandmother, the Marilyn Monroe–like Janet Hardy, who died mysteriously on the farm at age 39, haunts Cilla as she transforms the former hideaway of the rich and famous into habitable living space and tries to resolve whether Janet committed suicide or was murdered. While cleaning out the attic, Cilla unearths a collection of unsigned love letters to Janet from a local suitor, which adds spice to the puzzle of Janet's death. Meanwhile, Cilla's hunky graphic novelist neighbor, Ford Sawyer, provides the requisite sizzle and encourages Cilla to follow her dream of becoming a top-notch building contractor—much to the dismay of Cilla's headline-hungry diva mother. Amid the demolition and sheet rocking, Cilla comes up against a disgruntled local, and a series of unnerving threats and occurrences (vandalism, torched Cilla dolls) almost unhinges Cilla. The terror tactics (and the revelation of who is behind them) are half-baked and distract from what's ostensibly a girl meets boy, boy wants girl, girl finally wants boy story. (July)

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