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Killer Heels [Mass Market Paperback]

Sheryl J. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Mix a splash of Carrie Bradshaw, a dash of Stephanie Plum and a wee bit of Kinsey Millhone and you have Molly Forrester, advice columnist ("You Can Tell Me") for Zeitgeist magazine by day and amateur sleuth by night. At the start of Anderson's debut comic crime novel, Forrester literally steps in it-gooey blood, that is-when she returns to the office late one night and stumbles over a dead coworker. Molly's spanking new Jimmy Choos are covered in blood and she's soon knee-deep in sex, lies and crime-scene tape. Thrown into the fray are a hottie cop named Kyle Edwards; Molly's two gal pals, lawyer Cassady Lynch and event planner Tricia Vincent; and soon-to-be ex-boyfriend Peter Mulcahey, who happens to be a reporter for a rival magazine. Can Molly solve the murder and segue into a serious writing career? Or is using the death of a coworker as a major career move utterly uncouth? ("I always knew I'd make my mark on the world. I just didn't expect it to be one of those chalk outlines they draw around dead bodies.") While Molly explores her options, there's a second murder, and financial irregularities pop up in Zeitgeist's accounting department. Ample laughs help propel a well-crafted plot.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A pseudonymous husband-and-wife writing team debuts a series sure to please Sex and the City fans. In fact, similarities between Sex heroine Carrie Bradshaw and Anderson's Molly Forrester abound: both are Manhattan columnists who lust after expensive shoes and often pick the wrong man. Like Carrie, Molly has beautiful and wealthy New York sidekicks, Cassady and Tricia, both of whom have plenty of time and money. Molly's rather unexciting job at Zeitgeist magazine heats up when she and Cassady visit the office at night and stumble over the dead body of advertising director Teddy Reynolds. If she can find the killer, Molly will have a story she can peddle to bigger magazines--and thus move up a notch on the career ladder. With Teddy's many mistresses and enemies, however, that will be no easy task. Not helping is Molly's attraction to handsome homicide detective Kyle Edwards. Swanky New York locales and designer accessories abound in this fun if slightly implausible tale. For readers who care more about Prada than police procedure. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Killer Heels, Sheryl J. Anderson's hip debut mystery, sparkles like fine champagne, an intoxicating mix of wit, perception, and insouciance, and a wickedly clever but genuine depiction of single life in the city. Killer Heels will tap right to the top of the Best First lists."
-Carolyn Hart, author of Murder Walks the Plank

"A series sure to please "Sex and the City" fans."-Booklist

"Delicious dialogue."-Kirkus Reviews

"A fun, 'girls' night out' type of book that blends humor, craziness, and mystery...the writing is smooth and flip with a fairly fast moving plot."-Mystery News

"The first installment in what looks to be a winning series is upbeat, funny and totally, refreshingly original...a fabulous opening act."-Midwest Book Review

"Light, amusing."-South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Should you care to laugh while you read a murder mystery this would be a number one choice, as you rollick along toward a surprising end."--Rendezvous

From the Back Cover

Hilarious, sexy, and loaded with suspense, Sheryl J. Anderson's slick debut novel pits advice columnist Molly Forrester against the magazine world, Manhattan's singles scene, and cold-blooded murder...

When murder plays havoc with your career, sex life, and Jimmy Choos...
Molly Forrester enjoys playing a "Dear Abby" type for Zeitgeist, a Manhattan glossy. She's always hoped opportunity would knock, not throw itself at her feet as is the case when she stumbles literally over a colleague's body in her brand new pumps. Now her chance to get closer to real news has presented itself as she stares at her spoiled Jimmy Choos planted firmly in a pool of blood...

It's time to call your girlfriends...
Molly recruits trusty chums Cassady and Tricia to help her solve the crime. But she's getting distracted by the adorable homicide detective on the case. Unfortunately, she must first deal with Peter, her pretentious boyfriend. After a second name is brutally struck from the masthead, Molly investigates and stumbles again. This time, it's on dangerous secrets within Zeitgeist's ranks. Now her involvement in this gory chaos might just cost her a whole lot more than a pair of upscale designer footwear...

"Sparkles like fine champagne....will tap right to the top of the Best First lists."
-Carolyn Hart, author of Murder Walks the Plank

About the Author

SHERYL J. ANDERSON is a television writer/producer whose credits include Parker Lewis Can't Lose and Charmed. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Mark Parrott, and their two children.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Killer Heels
1
I always knew I'd make my mark on the world. I just didn't expect it to be one of those chalk outlines they draw around dead bodies. Of course, the chalk came later. It started with the blood. But that's the price you pay for wearing open-toed shoes in Manhattan. You never know what you're going to step in.
It's actually Cassady's fault that we went by my office when we did, and I'm not above using that to guilt her into buying me a new pair to replace the ones that soaked up all the blood. But then, Cassady Lynch is a lawyer and she's got a much stricter view of liability than I do. So I suppose the shoes will just turn into another one of those debit/credit things you pile up with girlfriends over the years--sweaters that got stretched out, cars that got dented, boyfriends that got stolen. But shoes that got trashed at a murder scene--brand-new Jimmy Choos, mind you, the Cat 85mm's with that gorgeous blue striped fabric and fabulous heel that cost me more than I can bear to think--probably demand a whole budget line item all their own.
I suppose I could have told Cassady no. But that's pretty much a superhuman feat and it's not successful very often, for me or anyone else, so it's not surprising that I caved.What started the whole deal was I was trying to describe this hideous piece of art The Publisher had just installed in our offices and Cassady said it couldn't possibly be as awful as I was making it out to be. Granted, there were several mojitos fueling the fires of art criticism, but I stood my ground. It was one of the uglier pieces I had ever seen. Cassady insisted that I take her to see it right away. She said she wasn't going to be able to concentrate on dinner with the images of this abomination dancing in her head.
Cassady took some art classes when we were in college, but then she tried to submit her boyfriend for a midterm exam. She'd stripped him--remember, it's very hard to say no to her--and painted this Guernica-like mural all over his body, leaving only his genitals unpainted because, as we all remember from Goldfinger, he would have suffocated otherwise. Cassady said it was a political statement. I contend that she was bored and looking to get kicked out of the class. They were going to give her an incomplete, but she threatened to launch a whole freedom-of-expression brouhaha and walked away from it all with a B. She's amazing that way.
Small wonder she persuaded me to leave Django and walk over to the office. I work for Zeitgeist magazine, which is right down Lexington Avenue. You can find us wedged between Marie Claire and Cosmo at your finer newsstands and markets. We do the whole lifestyle thing, but we like to think we have more of a sense of humor than the competition. God knows it takes a sense of humor to survive in our business, and I mean both the magazine business and the business of being a single woman in New York City. And those are both big businesses. In fact, they may support every other one. Single women drive the economy of this city and the magazines report on it.Everything else is just an offshoot, a subcontractor. The restaurants, the bars, the shops, the shrinks, the florists, the designers, the garment and jewelry districts, the theaters, the gyms, the hotels ... Detect a pattern? If they don't exist because of the needs and wants of single women, they exist to employ the men that single women need and want, which accounts for the lawyers, doctors, and stockbrokers. And the whole subset of baby stuff and nannies and houses in Connecticut is there to inspire the single women to put up with the single men. It's a delicate economic model, but it seems to be working.
I have to admit, it was my idea not to turn on the light right away. I wanted to go for a sort of "tah-dah" moment and snap the light on to reveal the grotesquery in all its glory in a blaze of track lighting. There was a fair amount of outside light bouncing in through the windows and off all the chrome and acrylic in the bullpen, that vast middle ground where those not deemed office-worthy sit at desks with nothing to protect them from learning way too much about their colleagues. There aren't even glorified bulletin boards masquerading as cubicle walls to give people the illusion of their own space. Everything's out in the open--desks, filing cabinets, sexual preferences, dating disasters. The overheard phone conversations are the most colorful things in the bullpen.
So while we favor a lush, vibrant palette in print, we're just this side of institutional in our office design. The Publisher believes comfortable people don't work fast enough. He must believe the same thing about rich people, because he's not turning any of us into them. The press calls him a business genius. I guess "miser" is too old-fashioned.
I know my way around the office well enough that Iwasn't concerned about tripping over anything. The assistants' desks are laid out in diagonals--on the bias, as Caitlin, the fashion editor, likes to point out--to keep the floor plan from looking too much like an insurance company, but it's still simple to navigate. I just didn't expect Teddy to be lying on the floor with a knife in his throat. One moment, I was leading Cassady through the darkened bullpen and the next, I was aware of my foot squooshing. I knew immediately that I had stepped in something that was not going to be good for my shoes, but I was thinking more along the lines of yogurt someone had somehow spilled and neglected to clean up. I stopped suddenly, my toes curling up like cocktail shrimp.
"What?" Cassady said impatiently.
"I stepped in something."
"If it's on the floor at this hour of the night, it's disgusting. Don't touch it. Where's the light switch?" Cassady started to feel her way toward the wall.
"I'll get it."
"No, stay put. You don't want to track it around or grind it into your new shoes, whatever it is."
As Cassady groped for the switch, I bent over to see what I could see in the dark. All I could tell was that there was a large pool of something dark on the carpet and a big pile of something against one of the desks. Then Cassady found the light switch and I realized that the darkness on the carpet was blood and the big pile was Teddy Reynolds, advertising director for Zeitgeist. I think I already mentioned the knife.
Now, I believe I deserve points for not fainting, puking, or even screaming. I only made a delicate sound of concern. Of course, Cassady later described it to Tricia as "the sound a Yorkshire terrier would make if you threw itagainst the wall. Hard." Cassady came running back over, took a look, and said, "Holy shit." But then, it was a different experience for her. She didn't know Teddy.
"You know him?" For some reason, she was whispering. I nodded as she helped me up, noting my right foot planted firmly in the pool of blood. The red was already soaking in and discoloring the blues in the fabric. "That's never going to come out."
"Isn't it shallow to be thinking that way at a moment like this?"
Cassady shrugged. "People handle grief in different ways." She grabbed the phone on the nearest desk.
"Call Tricia on her cell. She has an event tonight." Good times, bad times, you call your girlfriends first.
Cassady squinted. "You're kidding, right?"
Actually, I wasn't. "Who else?"
"I thought I'd start with the police." Cassady dialed 911. You can always count on her to have the logical reaction, even in times of extreme stress. Granted, she doesn't always follow through with the logical reaction, especially when a man is involved, but at least it occurs to her. Not all of us have that particular gift.
So the police came and the building security guys had a fit because Cassady hadn't bothered to clue them in and they looked pretty bad when the cops came stomping into the lobby. The cops didn't let them hang around too long before banishing them back down to the lobby to get security tapes and all that sort of stuff. They also got to place the call to Yvonne Hamilton, our editor, informing her that there was a "problem" at the office and asking her to come in. Poor guys. But at least they could feel useful. I felt like a complete and utter idiot. As a journalist, I pride myself on being observant and insightful. But in the clutch,I found myself transforming into a total bobblehead. I couldn't remember Teddy's wife's name right away or how long he'd worked at the magazine or if he'd been in his office when I left that night. Cassady said it was probably a form of shock. I guess I'll take that over useless.
It was also really hard to concentrate with poor Teddy lying there on the floor. Especially with the knife in his throat. Teddy was a big man who, until now, had always been in motion. It fascinated me that a guy who could not sit still could not burn calories more efficiently. He'd actually been trying to diet lately, a compulsion that's hard to duck when you work at a women's magazine, but I think his idea of dieting was to add some fresh fruit to his expansive caloric intake. He was always pacing and chewing on something while chewing out someone. Not that he was a bad guy, he was just very difficult to please. He went through assistants like J.Lo goes through men and I'm sure at least half the desks in the office contained voodoo dolls in his likeness. But he was great at his job and he could be very sweet when it suited him, so I realized the staff was actually going to miss him. At least the rest of the staff was going to get to remember him rumbling around the office with a sheen of sweat on his face and a bagel in his hand. From now on, I was always going to see him in a crumpled mass on the floor with a knife in his throat.
The first thing I wanted to do when the police arrived was get away from the body. Cassady had insisted that I not move until they came, to minimize the damage to th...
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