cover image A Dangerous Fiction

A Dangerous Fiction

Barbara Rogan. Viking, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-670-02650-0

Someone in the New York publishing world is targeting literary agent Jo Donovan, the appealing, empathetic narrator of this clever mystery from Rogan (Suspicion), herself a former book editor and agent. Jo’s troubles begin when an aspiring writer she calls “Sam Spade”—because of “a fedora tilted down over his face”—brazenly attempts to peddle his manuscript to her on a Manhattan sidewalk. Later, Jo’s e-mail is hacked, she is defamed, and her most successful client is murdered. Plenty of other people besides Spade have reason to resent Jo: Charlie Malvino, whom she recently fired from her agency; disgruntled fellow agent Harriet Peagoody; Teddy Pendragon, the prying biographer of her late husband, Hugo Donovan, a famous author; and Det. Tom Cullen, who once wanted to marry her. As she roots around for possible motives and suspects, Jo questions her past, recasting years of what she used to think of as pure happiness in a more realistic light. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt and Hochman Literary Agents. (July)