The Chelsea Girl Murders (Robin Hudson Mysteries #5)

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9780142000106: The Chelsea Girl Murders (Robin Hudson Mysteries #5)

When a fire forces TV executive Robin Hudson to vacate her apartment, she and her cat, Louise Bryant, take shelter in the legendary bohemian hostelry the Chelsea Hotel. But then a smoky-eyed art dealer dies on her doorstep, and our ever-reluctant heroine is drawn into a homicide investigation. Is the murder related in some way to the star-crossed and irritable young lovers who have appealed to Robin for help? Or to a deadly catfight between rival lovers of the victim? To sort things out, Robin must brave the whole downtown scene: guerilla artists, jealous women, Zen bodybuilders, gouty widows, and befuddled tourists. And to make matters even more complicated, Robin herself seems to have fallen accidentally in love.

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Review:

Robin Hudson has reason to believe that the only cosmic order ruling her existence is Murphy's Law. What else could a woman think when her pious, next- door neighbor's electric Jesus display shorts out and burns down their East Village apartment building? Bad enough that she's just returned from a disastrous PR trip for TV network WNN. Who knew that touching Thai children's heads put a curse on them, or that in Russia, an even number of flowers is appropriate only for a funeral, not for a dinner party? Who knew that certain colleagues are plotting to oust her from the network, and that Pierre, her recent French fling, isn't calling. Now she's homeless. It's a good thing her friend Tamayo has offered her the use of an apartment in the famed artists' haven, the Chelsea. A little peace and quiet in an artistic setting is just what Robin needs.

But when a teenager named Nadia shows up on Tamayo's doorstep eager to be reunited with her fiancé, courtesy of Tamayo's underground lovers' railroad, Robin finds herself playing nurse to a spoiled-rotten Juliet. And when Nadia goes missing before her Romeo (Rocky) arrives, the next person at the door is enough to cross anyone's stars: Gerald Woznik--art dealer, lecher, and all- around cad, who stumbles across the threshold and inconsiderately dies.

Between finding Nadia, feeding Rocky, and fending off the police, Robin embarks on a one-woman campaign to solve the woes of the world--and opens a sizeable can of worms. What was socialite Grace Rouse doing clinging to the Chelsea fire escape the night Gerald was murdered? Why is art doyenne Miriam Grundy lying about meeting Nadia? And who is the "Baby" that everyone is talking about?

More comic novel than mystery, The Chelsea Girl Murders takes its readers on a rollicking jaunt through the Big Apple. Whodunit isn't nearly as important as what's-Robin-gonna-do-about-it, and some of her solutions are pricelessly funny. As in her previous Robin Hudson outings (Revenge of the Cootie Girls, Nice Girls Finish Last, What's A Girl Gotta Do, The Last Manly Man), Sparkle Hayter's observations on New Yorkers and their loony obsessions have just the right dash of caustic wit. Fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum can add another star to the pantheon of Northeastern femmes formidables. --Kelly Flynn

About the Author:

Sparkle Hayter has been a producer at CNN and WABC, a freelance reporter, and a stand-up comic. What's a Girl Gotta Do? received the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Mystery Novel.

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