Murder at Heartbreak Hospital

Henry Slesar, Author Academy Chicago Publishers $21 (247p) ISBN 978-0-89733-463-1
Demanding star Sunday Tyler, who plays hit soap opera Heartbreak Hospital's most important role, that of femme fatale Andrea Harmon, has few friends but lots of enemies. So when she is found murdered in her apartment, everyone on the show becomes a suspect. NYPD officer William Troy, who'd been assigned to security work for the soap, helps homicide cops sort through the cast and crew, which includes jealous actors and frustrated scriptwriters. Adding to Troy's problems, his ex-girlfriend Fiona suddenly turns up at his apartment: she's pregnant and wants him to marry her. The plot may be sudsy, but Slesar does an admirable job of making the bubbles worth watching as he mimics daytime TV's most outrageous hours. Deliciously stereotyped characters and overacting add to the atmosphere. A second death has Troy reeling as he finds himself a suspect, and while the finale is predictable, Slesar provides an enjoyable time, full of nasty twists and characters, taking readers there. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
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Paperback - 252 pages - 978-0-89733-486-0
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