cover image Death and the Lit Chick: A St. Just Mystery

Death and the Lit Chick: A St. Just Mystery

G. M. Malliet. Midnight Ink, $14.95 (307pp) ISBN 978-0-7387-1247-5

Murder's afoot at Dead on Arrival, a crime writers' conference held at Edinburgh's Dalmorton Castle, in Malliet's superior second cozy featuring Det. Chief Insp. Arthur St. Just (after 2008's Death of a Cozy Writer ). The same evening that Kimberlee Kalder, “queen of the 'chick lit' genre,” accepts an award for best debut novel from her publisher, Lord Easterbrook of Deadly Dagger Press, her broken body is found in the castle dungeon. St. Just, who's visiting from Cambridge, and the local DCI learn that not all were thrilled by catty Kimberlee's megaseller, Dying for a Latte . Suspects include Kimberlee's literary agent, who's worried another agent wants to steal her star client, a flamboyant publicist and various jealous authors. Malliet's satirical take on the mystery scene is spot-on. Adding spice is the inspector's new romantic interest, writer and criminologist Portia De'Ath, with whom the love-starved widower becomes deliciously smitten. (Apr.)