Some lively writing and a hard, crisp look at life in Aspen, Colo.'s legendary ski mecca, overcome a familiar plot in TV producer Hasburgh's first mystery. Zingers are planted like slalom poles on every page (e.g., "The poor man was obviously suffering from acquired situational narcissism, an affliction one catches from always thinking he is the most important person in the room. There is no known cure, but the Alec Baldwin Foundation is raising research funds"), and more than half are worth reading out loud. And even though the story—former Aspen resident Jake Holmes goes off to Los Angeles, makes millions writing for TV shows like The Rockford Files , spends all of it on booze and drugs, slinks home where the only work he can find is as a private detective looking for the missing daughter of a mega-wealthy woman—would probably never make it to pilot, Hasburgh gives Holmes enough colorful company (including a giant malamute named Winston) to ease readers down the slopes while hoping for a more original narrative next time. Agent, Luke Janklow at Janklow & Nesbit. (Dec. 8)
Forecast: Hasburgh is the creator of the Fox show 21 Jump Street. A blurb from Stephen J. Cannell, the tony Aspen locale and the author's Hollywood connections all augur well for sales.
Release date: 12/01/2004