cover image The Woman Fell from Grace

The Woman Fell from Grace

David Handler. Doubleday Books, $15 (230pp) ISBN 978-0-385-42115-7

In his first hardcover appearance, novelist/ghost writer Hoagy Hoag, seen last in The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald , takes on the assignment of a lifetime--to write the sequel to the most popular novel in publishing history, Oh, Shenandoah . Alma Glaze, author of the sweeping tale of the Revolutionary War, was killed in an accident 50 years earlier, right after the equally popular film of the book was completed. When Hoagy agrees to the project, he takes on some alarming partners: domineering Mavis Glaze, Alma's sole heir; her twin brothers, Frederick and Edward, mostly dependent on their sister for financing; and nubile Mercy Glaze, Mavis's only child and heir to the Shenandoah fortune. The family housekeeper is found dead after suggesting that the mysterious death of one of the stars, which also occurred right after the film's completion, was murder. Despite the displeasure of the local sheriff, Mercy's fiance, Hoagy investigates. As he digs for ancient secrets and copes with another murder and an alienated young orphan, preparations for a vast anniversary celebration swirl around him. Handler's breezy, unpretentious and warm-hearted hero provides a breath of fresh air in a world of investigative angst. (Oct.)