The Barnes & Noble Review
The wacky, wonderful Blackbird sisters are back for another quirky foray into Philadelphia high society, murder, and more as this delightful series makes its hardcover debut.
Recently impoverished Nora Blackbird is an expert at keeping up appearances, but this time she's facing fashion emergencies. As assistant to the acid-tongued society columnist at the Philadelphia Intelligencer, Nora is used to being offered only the crumbs of the fashionable feast -- civic awards banquets, charity receptions, garden club luncheons, and the like. When her boss orders her to drop everything to cover a hot-topic fashion show, she's astonished, since she doesn't usually get such high-profile assignments.
Designer Brinker Holt is poised on the edge of fame and fortune…and his revolutionary new Brinker Bra is about to make him a style phenomenon. Nora's pleasure in attending the grand event is somewhat overshadowed by the news that her all-too-sensual sister, Libby, is launching a new career selling erotic aids and her younger sister, Emma, has checked herself out of much-needed rehab and into front-page news as Brinker's flashy equestrian model.
Things only get more complicated for Nora when the boss she loathed is found murdered execution-style, Nora's Mob-connected boyfriend instantly becomes the police's favorite suspect, and a drop-dead gorgeous newspaperman starts shadowing her every move. Nora begins to feel that her life is surrounded by police tape, as her bylines involve more murder and mayhem than fashion statements and faux pas. This time Nora must strip her story down to facts that could shake the foundations of Philadelphia society. Sue Stone
The three high-flying Blackbird sisters make their hardcover debut in their fourth mystery (after 2004's Some Like It Lethal), a blend of fashion-forward romance and witty suspense. When not assisting Kitty Keough, a Philadelphia society columnist, former debutante Nora Blackbird strives to save the family farm after the sisters' parents "spent our trust funds faster than drunken lottery winners could buy a fleet of Cadillacs." Meanwhile, wild baby sis, Emma, escapes rehab with a media cowboy, and fertile sis, Libby, keeps popping out babies. Assigned to cover the Philly launch for Brinker Holt's revolutionary Brinker Bra ("No need for straps or uncomfortable wires"), Nora recalls Brinker was the creepy preppie who once assaulted Emma and tortured other kids for fun. When Kitty, whom Brinker barred from the show, turns up dead on Nora's doorstep, Nora's lover, Michael Abruzzo, becomes the primary suspect due to his mob connections. Nora, Libby and ace crime reporter Richard D'eath's efforts to investigate more likely suspects lead to a madcap d nouement just in time for Nora's annual New Year's Eve bash and a sparkling but bittersweet surprise. Martin's wicked tongue-in-cheek satire will appeal to fans of Jennifer Crusie, who provides a blurb, and Janet Evanovich. Agent, Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
With major debt as motivation and closets of vintage designer clothes as inspiration, formerly old-monied Nora Blackbird (Some Like It Lethal) writes columns for a Philadelphia newspaper. While attending a fashion show launching the self-supporting Brinker Bra, she and erotic toy-selling sister Libby witness younger rehab-escapee sister Emma riding practically naked on a horse. They all remember bad-boy designer Brinker, nasty when younger and nasty now, but nothing prepares Nora for the discovery of her fashion editor's body back home. Police suspect Nora's mob-connected boyfriend, but Nora suspects Brinker. Anyway, the resultant wide-eyed sleuthing, sisterly antics, and humorous dialog will have readers panting for more. This marks the hardcover debut of the popular paperback series. Martin lives in Pittsburgh. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
After three paperback adventures in couture and crime, Philadelphia's Blackbird sisters debut in hardcover. Bereft of the inheritance their debutante past prepared them for, the Blackbirds have coped differently. Twice-widowed Libby, a distributor for Potions and Lotions, is lining up naughty parties for her friends and relatives. Emma has bounced out of rehab to play Lady Godiva for the debut of ex-comedian Brinker Holt's revolutionary Brinker Bra. Nora, who'd seem like the downright sensible sister ("If you don't know where you'll end up at the end of the day, always choose Armani"-how's that for news you can use?) if it weren't for her romance with Mafia prince Michael Abruzzi, carries water for Philadelphia Intelligencer society columnist Kitty Keough until Kitty's corpse is dumped on her front porch. The atmosphere is as thick with suspects as innuendo. There's Hemmings Pierce, grasping uncle to preteen textiles heir Orlando Lamb; ambitious ad exec Sabria Chatterjee, who's just landed the Lamb account; Monte Bogartz, the washed-up country-and-western signer Emma's dragged home; and the nubile Finehart twins, aspiring spokesgirls for the Brinker Bra. But the cops don't need any of them, because Danny Pescara, the triggerman who's confessed to the crime, claims Michael hired him. Not a single overweight, ill-dressed, or remotely ordinary character disturbs the high gloss. The mystery, by the way, is settled before the big question: How will Nora's New Year's Eve party go?