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Fern Michaels, Kensington, $15 paper (246p) ISBN 978-0-7582-2720-1

The tedious sequel to The Scoop sends Charleston, S.C., grande dame Toots Loudenberry to L.A. to help her daughter, Abby, who is running a struggling tabloid. Toots brings along her best friends—Ida, Sophie, and Mavis—and though the ladies envision some wild times, what they find instead is a haunted Malibu beach house, possible career ruin for Abby, and a dodgy doctor boyfriend for Ida. While there is plenty going on, none of the shenanigans forms what could be called a plot, and too many of the developments are unbelievably outlandish. Meanwhile, none of the characters is especially menaced by her alleged problems, which is almost fine, because Michaels doesn't follow through on the lightweight villainy. (Sept.)