Sarah Strohmeyer, . . Dutton, $19.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-525-94864-3

In Strohmeyer's wacky fifth mystery starring Bubbles Yablonsky (after 2004's Bubbles a Broad ), the former hairdresser and queen of the tube tops dons her first business suit ($30 hot pink skirt and jacket on layaway) to interview accused murderer Jill "Crazy Popeye" Simon for the Lehigh, Pa., News-Times , in Simon's holding cell. Unfortunately, Simon expires in mid-sentence after claiming she actually tried to save the victim, Liberty High School's beloved principal, Rudy Schmidt, who choked to death on the tie shoved down his throat. Bubbles's interview notes prove to be of interest to a number of delightfully goofy characters, including a Polish mafioso and a podiatrist with a foot fetish. Meanwhile, Bubbles hears that her boyfriend, stud-for-the-ages reporter Steve Stiletto, has announced he is engaged—to her—in a ploy to keep from getting transferred to London. This isn't exactly the kind of proposal she had fantasized. Strohmeyer pokes fun at Bubbles and her cohorts, but with obvious respect and fondness. Agent, Heather Schroder at ICM. Author tour. (Apr. 11)