cover image The Chelsea Girl Murders: A Robin Hudson Mystery

The Chelsea Girl Murders: A Robin Hudson Mystery

Sparkle Hayter. William Morrow & Company, $23 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-688-15518-6

Robin Hudson's temporary relocation to New York's Chelsea Hotel (after a fire in her apartment) plunges her into a case of murder, art theft and cultural miscommunication in this latest installment in Hayter's series (The Last Manly Man; Nice Girls Finish Last; etc.) featuring the irrepressible and irreverent reporter-turned-television executive. Robin takes shelter in her friend's studio at the Chelsea, only to find that her refuge is also a stop on a modern-day underground railroad, a loose association of folks who assist women from closed cultures to escape arranged marriages. Hudson meets Nadia, a young woman who has fled her native ""Plotzonia"" in order to track down and marry her true love. Nadia has brought with her a 15th-century icon, possibly stolen during WWII, which she intends to sell in order to finance her new life in the States. Unfortunately, a group of Plotzonian rebels also want the icon, believing it will mystically aid their revolution. When Nadia flees after a shady art dealer dies in the hotel, Robin's search for the woman brings her into contact with the Chelsea's eccentrics--including Maggie Mason, a feisty, vindictive artist with whom, Robin discovers, she shares an ex-lover. As they trace back the stops of the ""railroad,"" the two must contend with Nadia's would-be suitor, Plotzonian revolutionaries and performance artists. Hayter deftly incorporates the rich lore of the Chelsea Hotel into another amusing mystery sure to delight her fans. Agent, Russ Galen. (May)