Category Archives: Arlington, Lucy

Lucy Arlington. Books, Cooks, and Crooks. New York: Berkley, 2014.

Books, Cooks, and CrooksKlara Patrick knows how to put on a good show. She’s a famous TV chef with a newly released cookbook, and the star of Inspiration Valley’s upcoming Taste of the Town festival. Or so she insists – Klara is adamant about being treated as the headliner at the festival. Lila Wilkins, one of the literary agents responsible for organizing Taste of the Town, is happy to think of Klara as the star. She’s a fan of Klara’s work and she’s excited to meet the chef in the flesh. Lila’s employer, the Novel Idea Literary Agency, is backing the Taste of the Town festival and the staff is working hard to make the event a success. However, all the employees at the agency are struggling to juggle the chefs’ enormous egos. Turns out, their pride is more sensitive than a rising soufflé.

Although Lila is won over by Klara’s generosity after their first meeting, Lila’s mother, a psychic named Althea, sees something bad in Klara right away. Althea warns her daughter that Karla doesn’t mind using others to climb her way to the top. At first, Lila places little stock in her mother’s vision. However, Klara’s kind and generous demeanor cracks quickly against any perceived slights to her stardom.  She demands a top-of-the-line gas stove for her cooking demonstration for free, and she sours when she believes another chef’s newly released cookbook will outshine her cookbook at an upcoming book signing at the festival. Even worse, Klara delights in taking digs at her peers.

The night before the cooking demonstrations for the festival, Klara belittles another chef, Joel Lang, and his trio of dishes planned for the demonstrations. In anger, Joel storms out of the party. A short while later an explosion goes off in the kitchen. Firefighters on the scene recover human remains. By process of elimination, Lila is sure that Joel, who is missing, must have died in the explosion. An explosion, as it turns out, that was caused by Klara’s specially requested six-burner stove. Following Joel’s untimely demise, the chefs and the Novel Idea staff try to remain calm and continue with the scheduled festivities, while police hunt for a killer. Suspicions against Klara cloud Lila’s mind. Klara acts unscathed by the accident and expresses irritation that her stove was ruined. But is Klara the murderer or the target? Lila soon learns that all of the chefs have vendettas of their own. Their deep-seated rivalries might just be deadly.

The two voices behind the pen name Lucy Arlington, Ellery Adams and Sylvia May, are back with a third novel in their A Novel Idea Mystery series. Novelist Ellery Adams has been featured here in the past for her Books by the Bay mysteries.  Books, Cooks, and Crooks provides plenty of intrigue and surprises for mystery loves. On a lighter note, the novel also develops the ongoing romance between Lila and police officer Seth Griffiths and introduces a secret admirer for Lila’s barista friend Makayla. Whether you’re interested in mystery, romance, or a new, fast-paced fiction read, the latest Lucy Arlington delivers.

To learn more about A Novel Idea Mystery series, read these posts covering the first two installments in the series. Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Arlington, Lucy, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Lucy Arlington. Every Trick in the Book. New York: Berkley, 2013.

everytrickinthebookLila Wilkins has reached her goal of becoming a literary agent at A Novel Idea, a publishing house in small-town Inspiration Valley, North Carolina. The position is a serious step up from her first job at A Novel Idea as an intern, and with her new title comes a salary allowing her to purchase a dream home in the cozy town. Everything seems perfect — her twenty-something son, Trey, is happy living and working at the nearby Red Fox Co-operative farm, and she has an exciting new relationship with handsome local police officer Sean Griffiths. Of course, just when everything is looking up, an element of danger appears.

The trouble starts with an unsettling horror manuscript Lila receives by mistake. As the agent assigned to romance and cozy mysteries, Lila’s usual reading is lighthearted and fun. This manuscript is full of blood and gore, and she passes it off to her colleague, the literary agent assigned to thrillers and horror novels. Unfortunately, the manuscript has no contact information for the author– just an attached note saying that he will be pitching the novel to the agents at their upcoming Book and Author festival. Lila simply dismisses the manuscript as not in her area, but when she is nearly murdered at the book festival, she’s convinced it must be the mysterious author. Then, she finds the body of another editor nearby. Shortly after, a local author is killed, and the two murders appear to Lila to be connected. Will Lila find the murderer in time to prevent her own death? And could clues to his or her identity be written into the grisly manuscript?

Lila Wilkins is determined that she will have the final word.

Check out this second installment in the Novel Idea Mysteries in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Arlington, Lucy, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Lucy Arlington. Buried in a Book. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2012.

Lila Wilkins has worked at the Dunston Herald for twenty years, so she is shocked and enraged when, at age forty-five, she finds herself jobless. But Lila isn’t one to lie around and wait–within a few minutes of finding out about her layoff, she’s on the phone interviewing for an internship with nearby publishing house, A Novel Idea. An internship may seem like small potatoes to a seasoned journalist, but the ad states that she could be promoted to full-fledged literary agent within three months, so Lila dives in.

A Novel Idea has revitalized the small, neighboring village of Inspiration Valley. Bentley Burlington-Duke, director of the agency, is a North Carolina native who made her money in New York City. Now she’s determined to make North Carolina the hub of publishing in the South. Bentley isn’t an easy person to get along with, however– A Novel Idea’s interns only seem to stay a short time, despite the promise of a permanent position. Lila is going to have to stiffen her spine in order to achieve the coveted status of literary agent. It doesn’t help that on her first day, a prospective client dies in the foyer. Marlette Robbins was a local ne’er do well with a bad reputation, but something about his death strikes Lila as odd. Soon she’s embroiled in the investigation, to the (slight) annoyance of attractive local policeman Sean Griffiths. But soon Lila is in deeper than she realized, and it’s possible that her very life could be on the line. Will she survive? And more importantly, will she ever be a literary agent?

Check out this first book in the Novel Idea Mystery series in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Arlington, Lucy, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Suspense/Thriller