Eileen Goudge, Author . Viking $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-670-03216-7

Goudge's third Carson Springs novel (Stranger in Paradise; Taste of Honey) revives familiar themes of family secrets and complicated love lives among California's rich and semifamous. Anna Vincenzi works by day for her domineering sister, wheelchair-bound movie star Monica Vincent, and by night caring for their Alzheimer's-afflicted mother. The beleaguered, stifled Anna gets her wish for freedom when Monica is found dead in her swimming pool. Unfortunately, police arrest her for her sister's murder—not exactly the kind of attention she's been craving. Accustomed to helping others, she hesitates to contact her younger sister, Liz, who has distanced herself from the family, or Dr. Marc Raboy, Monica's therapist, whom she has secretly pined for. Instead, Anna reaches out to friend and neighbor Laura, whose extended family, nicely recovered from the scandals described in Strangers in Paradise, provides emotional support as well as bail and a good lawyer. Anna and Marc investigate Monica's death, uncovering secrets about her parents along the way. The novel's charm lies in its unabashed quotation of the Cinderella story. Modern touches (the heroine doesn't sweep the fireplace, she answers her sister's e-mail; Prince Charming is a married therapist; the mean sister is a Hollywood star) combine with the familiar plot line of the ur-romance. It's not groundbreaking, but readers who enjoyed the first two in this series will not be disappointed. Agent, Susan Ginsburg. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-2925-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-2926-6
Hardcover - 978-1-58724-500-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-451-21061-6
Ebook - 408 pages - 978-1-4532-2305-5
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