Elizabeth Bloom, Author . Mysterious $22.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-89296-785-8

It's hard to believe that the author of the Alex Bernier books (Ecstasy , etc., under her maiden name of Beth Saulnier) could produce this awkward mystery. Like a gawky teenager, there's some appeal here, but the self-consciousness and gaffes make it a little painful to witness. Isabelle Leonard has moved to New York City to be with her future husband only to be left at the altar. Broke and friendless, she lands a job at Becky Belden Multimedia, the eponymous Becky being a cross between Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. Isabelle quickly becomes aware that employees are turning up dead left and right, a fact that apparently no one else has noted. Her instant best friend, a stereotypical gay co-worker, Trevor Hopkins, offers support but no help and, inevitably, meets an unfortunate fate, as does Isabelle's immediate boss. Meanwhile, handsome Max Collins, a Becky Belden executive, becomes a love interest tainted with a predictable measure of mystery and suspicion. Between Isabelle's juvenile handling of men in bars and her fiction writing, she picks up remarkably few clues, but eventually finds herself in an all-too-predictable showdown. Isabelle seems like a sweet kid, but she's a little tedious, and she's found herself in a story plagued with stiff and obvious plotting. Agent, Jimmy Vines. (Mar. 21)

Forecast: A four-city author tour, along with advance praise by Judith Kelman, should ensure a good start.

Reviewed on: 02/07/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 278 pages - 978-0-446-61718-5
Open Ebook - 978-0-446-50726-4
Ebook - 978-0-446-50725-7
Hardcover - 271 pages - 978-1-58547-636-7
Open Ebook - 149 pages - 978-0-446-59187-4
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