Valerie Vane was an up-and-coming lifestyle reporter at a prominent New York City daily. Then she stumbled, rather publicly, and lost it all—her column, her fiancé, her access behind the city's velvet ropes. Now she's on the obituary desk writing death notices, and it feels like a dead end.
However, when she writes about a recently deceased once-famous graffiti artist, the phone calls start. A mysterious voice on the other end of the line tells her the artist's death was a murder—and if she were a real reporter, she'd investigate.
But can Valerie trade her stilettos for gumshoes?
Chick lit meets Raymond Chandler in this slick debut about a Gotham gossip girl's rise, fall and resurrection in New York circa 1999. Sassy, brassy journo Valerie Vane n e Sunburst Rhapsody Miller, born to a pair of hippies wants to be famous and does so the old-fashioned way: by tossing gossip bricks. She's quickly scooped up by the style section of the Paper (a thinly veiled New York Times), but becomes undone by cocaine nights and her social-climbing no-good boyfriend. After a drug-fueled rage that gets her mug on all the trashy tabs, Val is relegated to the obits desk. There, the disgraced writer learns to be a real reporter, investigating the mysterious death of revered graffiti artist Malcolm Wallace. In the hunt for his killer, aided by her dark and handsome source, Cabeza, Val uncovers corruption that will put her name back on page one and her life in danger. Siegal, a former journalist, blends glamour and gutter into a delicious cocktail, equal parts behind-the-scenes dish and crime novel. With a tantalizing if undeveloped side plot involving Val's long-lost relatives, a sequel would be both logical and welcome.