SEX, MURDER AND A DOUBLE LATTE

Kyra Davis, Author . Red Dress Ink $17.95 (298p) ISBN 978-0-373-89519-9

Death imitates art in Davis's playful debut about crime novelist and wisecracking interracial Bay Area hipster Sophie Katz, who possesses either an overactive imagination or a keen awareness of criminal behavior patterns. When rapper JJ Money and the movie producer interested in optioning Sophie's novel both die in scenes lifted from their respective works, Sophie is the only one who sees the connection. Soon, it seems someone is reenacting the ominous details (vandalized car, crank calls, mysteriously broken wine glass) of her bestseller, and she fears that she's the next target. Sophie turns a suspicious eye on sexy bad-boy Russian-Israeli Anatoly Darinsky: he's either a homicidal stalker or prime boyfriend material. When the San Francisco police scoff at Sophie's suspicions, the plucky writer turned amateur sleuth enlists her less-than-intrepid circle of friends; drawn in broad strokes, they include gay hairstylist Marcus, clueless wallflower Mary Ann and savvy sex-toy aficionado Dena. Davis keeps the tone light throughout, as Sophie maintains her irreverent sense of humor even as the peril mounts. Though the story serves as a book-length ad for Starbucks, as the title unfortunately hints, and Sophie's over-the-top scheming can strain credibility more than it amuses, readers sympathetic to the relentlessly sassy heroine will find this a thoroughly readable romp. Agent, Ashley Krass. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/11/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-373-89580-9
Open Ebook - 978-1-4592-4632-4
Open Ebook - 978-1-55254-469-3
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4603-3449-2
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