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By Eileen Davidson

Obsidian, 2009 ($6.99)
ISBN-10: 0451228251
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-22825-3

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

This is the second in Davidson's Soap Opera mystery series, following DEATH IN DAYTIME. Davidson, herself an Emmy-nominated soap star best known for her roles in The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives, knows what that world is like, and has created an engaging and funny series.

Soap star Alexis "Alex" Peterson recently left the hit series The Yearning Tide because the cast and crew believed that she'd killed the head writer. No problem: the producers of The Bold and the Brazen welcomed her with open arms. She gets to play two characters, Felicia Stewart, a glamorous and successful psychiatrist, and her ugly-Betty twin Fanny. Fanny was adopted into another family, and she is jealous of her sister's good fortune. Alex has to admit she enjoys playing the evil twin even more than the good one, but in real life she is kind and considerate and definitely not the murdering kind.

Alex is a co-presenter for the daytime Emmys, handing out the first award with Jackson Masters, the hot new hunk on her show. When the curtain rises, he's among the missing, so Alex gamely goes on by herself, trying not to trip on her wayward train or break an ankle because of her mile-high stilettos. In the middle of the presentation, Masters drops in, literally, falling from above the stage and splattering Alex with his blood, leaving her looking like Carrie at the prom, only in a couture gown and priceless gems. Needless to say this brings the show to a screeching halt. Security seals the building, and the police show up in force. The lead detective is none other than Frank Jakes, whom she'd met when she was suspected of murder. By the time the case was solved, he'd shown a personal interest in her, but she was involved with Paul Silas, a crime scene investigator. Paul is on a long-term assignment, and Alex has become unsure of her feelings for him, leaving her vulnerable to Jakes' advances. Since she knows the world of daytime television, and is familiar with the cast and crew of her show, he enlists her as an expert consultant, but he makes it plain he has more in mind.

To further complicate her life, her ex-husband Randy, who'd fled the country with all her money, is back, demanding to see their daughter. Another body shows up, somebody tries to run Alex off the road, and Alex doesn't appreciate any of these problems. She works with Jakes, for the most part, but sometimes a girl just has to take matters into her own hands. While some of her actions annoy or alarm the good detective, it doesn't lessen the growing feelings he has for her, or hers for him.

Davidson knows the soap world, and she knows how to tell a good story. I'm looking forward to her next adventure. The first chapter is included in the back of the book. The title is not included, but the action starts out at a Halloween party at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion, which should make for a very entertaining story.

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