The California dream weavers have invaded Charm City with their cameras, their stars, and their controversy. . . .
When private investigator Tess Monaghan literally runs into the crew of the fledgling TV series Mann of Steel while sculling, she expects sharp words and evil looks, not an assignment. But the company has been plagued by a series of disturbing incidents since its arrival on location in Baltimore: bad press, union threats, and small, costly on-set "accidents" that have wreaked havoc with its shooting schedule. As a result, Mann's creator, Flip Tumulty, the son of a Hollywood legend, is worried for the safety of his young female lead, Selene Waites, and asks Tess to serve as her bodyguard/babysitter. Tumulty's concern may be well founded. Not long ago a Baltimore man was discovered dead in his own home, surrounded by photos of the beautiful, difficult superstar-in-the-making.
In the past, Tess has had enough trouble guarding her own body. Keeping a spoiled movie princess under wraps may be more than she can handleeven with the help of Tess's icily unflappable friend Whitneysince Selene is not as naive as everyone seems to think, and far more devious than she initially appears to be. This is not Tess's world. And these are not her kind of people, with their vanities, their self-serving agendas and invented personas, and their remarkably skewed visions of realityfrom the series' aging, shallow, former pretty-boy leading man to its resentful, always-on-the-make cowriter to the officious young assistant who may be too hungry for her own good.
But the fish-out-of-water P.I. is abruptly pulled back in by an occurrence she's all too familiar withmurder. Suddenly the wall of secrets around Mann of Steel is in danger of toppling, leaving shattered dreams, careers, and lives scattered among the ruinsa catastrophe that threatens the people Tess cares about . . . and the city she loves.
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"While the excitement level may not match that of other recent entries in the series, fans will appreciate the author's usual authentic local color and intricate plotting." - Publishers Weekly.
"Like lunch at Atwater's, Tess's latest leaves you fully satisfied but looking forward to next time." - Kirkus Reviews.
"It's an interesting story with a lot of characters, but, unfortunately, Tess is the only one that is fully fleshed out. Not Lippman's best effort, but fans of the series will want to read it anyway." - Library Journal
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Laura Lippman was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun.
She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about "accidental PI" Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. The Most Dangerous Thing (2011), And When She Was Good (2012), After I'm Gone (2014) are some of her more recent works.
Her work has been awarded the Edgar, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year ...
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