Sunday, January 20, 2013

Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman

Los Angeles is no stranger to glamor, celebrity—and murder. When Susan Kaplan moves to L.A. to become a TV writer, she's thrilled to be hired as a writers' assistant on the well-regarded but low-rated TV series Babbitt & Brooks. The last thing she expects, however, is that she'd find herself working for the beautiful yet seriously neurotic Rebecca Saunders, the show's less-than-competent associate producer who may or may not have gotten the job by sleeping with Babbitt & Brooks' demanding creator and executive producer, Ray Goldfarb.

And Susan definitely doesn't expect to find murdered Rebecca's body in her office at the studio early one morning. When the police learn that Rebecca torpedoed Susan's writing career shortly before her death, Susan becomes their number one suspect. Determined to prove her innocence and find the murderer, Susan discovers that all her colleagues have secrets they would kill to protect. From producers to writers to stars, it seems that the hopes and dreams of nearly everyone associated with the show were being threatened by Rebecca.

Despite the danger to her own life, Susan remains determined to find Rebecca's killer and in the process unmasks the dirty little secrets behind the making of a prime-time television series. She learns that real life behind the camera is far more dramatic than the fictional one in front of it.

I’m a lapsed member of Mensa.  I can’t afford the dues right now, but I still qualify for membership.  And I’m a writer.  So I can usually predict how a book is going to end, and when I read or watch a mystery, I usually figure out who did it fairly early on.  Not so here.  Ms. Seidman kept me guessing until the very end.

I rarely call a plot predictable because what’s predictable to me may not be so to a normal reader.  When I was editing I drove one of my authors nuts.  We were working chapter by chapter and when one ended with a rustle in the grass I asked in my e-mail if it was a cottonmouth or a copperhead, and how far away the hero was.  She replied, “It’s a cottonmouth, and you weren’t supposed to know that yet!”  Well, the girl was in tall grass in Mississippi, and it was too early in the book for her to get caught by the bad guys.  That’s how I would have written it.  But I digress.

The first murder victim seemed so deliciously evil, everyone had motive and opportunity to kill her.  There was even a pesky extra calling to see if anyone had written him into any future scripts for the show Could he be the killer who came out of left field and did it?  I won’t tell.  Buy the book and find out for yourself.

Length:  258 Pages
Price:  $4.99

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