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The Killing Club
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Detective Sergeant Jamie Ferrara suspects that her former high school chum's death by fire was not accidental. Friend Ben belonged to the "killing club," a school group of misfits who wrote down imaginary murder scenarios: now he has died according to his own fiction. Attempting to convince her superiors of murder, Jamie looks into the deaths of other members, notifies surviving members of the club including a still attractive ex-love interest, and otherwise investigates. Marcie Walsh, played by Kathy Brier, is a popular character on the television soap opera One Life To Live, so this readable, entertaining effort should find wide readership. [As part of a tie-in promotion, the book has been integrated into the show's plot, and fans will see Marcie writing the book-Ed.] Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

The authors of this elaborate thriller-spoof are an odd team: Walsh is a fictional character from the soap opera One Life to Live and Edgar-winner Malone is the ABC show's former head writer. The book has nothing to do with the TV program or its characters. Marcie herself isn't even a character. But on the actual television soap, the character Marcie will be writing a book-this book-as part of the show, and there will be eerie echoes of Marcie's plot-this plot-on the show. The book's heroine is 20-something Jamie Ferrara, a police homicide detective in the small New Jersey town of Gloria. When one of Jamie's high school buddies is killed in what looks like an accident, Jamie is reminded that during her senior year, she and the victim belonged to the Killing Club, in which members designed strategies for killing people they didn't like. When Jamie realizes that the accident victim invented his own murder scenario, she starts investigating. Walsh/Malone craft an interesting plot spiced up by the Peyton Place-like antics of Gloria's residents. At one point, Jamie asks herself, "Was there anybody in Gloria... who wasn't cheating on a spouse?" Kind of like Llanview, where One Life to Live takes place. If "author" Walsh is killed off on OLTL, she can always make a new career writing readable, enjoyable mysteries, as long as she teams up with Malone. Agent, Peter Matson at Sterling Lord Literistic. (Mar.) Forecast: Cross-promotion (or call it cross-pollination?) with ABC should attract curious One Life to Live fans. At the other end of the spectrum, Walsh/Malone might spark some publishing biz gossip with their transgression of book-world boundaries. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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