DIGGING JAMES DEAN: A Nina Zero Novel
In Eversz's fast-moving fourth novel (after 2003's Burning Garbo ) to feature ex-con Mary Alice Baker—now calling herself Nina Zero, a Hollywood tabloid photographer for the Scandal Times —a tip sends Nina and her boss on a trip to Fairmount, Ind., where thieves have broken into James Dean's grave and stolen some of his bones. A coincidence ties that theft to a rough-living teenager in Hollywood, and soon Nina is involved with a peculiar cult called the Church of Divine Thespians. Nina's family comes in for strong play as she gets reacquainted with the older sister she hasn't seen since she was six. Eversz spins a bizarre story of a cult trading in relics from old movie stars and promises of creating new ones to naïve youths who aspire to stardom. It's the stuff of tabloids teased just enough to sustain a shred of credibility and given a deadly edge by those trafficking in Hollywood dreams. Eversz's unresolved ending may frustrate some readers, but Nina Zero is a character well worth meeting again. Agent, Al Hart at the Chase Literary Agency. (Feb. 1)
Forecasts: While the publisher compares Nina to V.I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum, Nina is closer in spirit to Barbara Seranella's Munch Mancini. A blurb from Edgar-winner Jan Burke will cue her readers.
Release date: 02/01/2005