Saturday, January 01, 2011

Celebrity Sudoku - Kaye Morgan

Celebrity Sudoku
A Sudoku Mystery
Kaye Morgan
Berkley Prime Crime


Leaving scenic Maiden’s Bay, Oregon for the frantic pace of Los Angeles is not the first choice of sudoku columnist Lisa Kelly. But she’s been asked to spend a couple of days serving as an expert for Celebrity Week of long-running TV game show “K-Dodas.” What really tips the balance is the chance to spend some quality time with her longtime not-quite-ex-husband, Michael Langely.

On the set, tempers flare almost immediately. Celebutante and chronic instigator Ritz Tarleton gets the ball rolling by insulting nearly everyone she encounters. Her actions include, but are not limited to, giving another hapless expert the kind of makeover that ends up in a drastic haircut; insulting and baiting her fellow C-listers; appearing petulant and annoyed by the entire process; and starting a yelling match with the show’s hostess over the hostess’ gowns. Most on set realize that Ritz’ fifteen minutes are ticking away their final seconds and believe she’s doing whatever she can to extend them.

During the taping, an earthquake hits, dislodging an overhead light and injuring Liza’s leg. On her way to get treatment from the studio infirmary, she sees the famous bungalow built on the grounds for child star Baby Boots. The bungalow, once an attraction itself is mostly destroyed. Almost immediately after, the studio receives a threat that Ritz is “in danger.” Most insiders assume that’s a lame ploy for more publicity, staged by Ritz or her questionable publicist. But the search for Ritz ends when rescuers find her in the wreckage of the cottage. Interestingly, she did not die from injuries sustained during the quake.

Even though Liza’s leg is injured, her mind is moving at top speed. Obviously, there were a lot of people who didn’t like Ritz, but who disliked her enough to kill her? With the help of Michael and the vast network of behind-the-scenes contacts she made during her own days as a publicist, Liza is on the case.

This is the most recent in a solidly entertaining series (see list below.) Newcomers to the series will have no trouble starting here, and longtime readers will enjoy seeing Liza work through some of her ‘old’ life. The setting is interesting and the characters are just plain fun. There are lots of possible suspects, and the further the investigation goes, the more suspects appear. Of course, the book contains several sudoku puzzles, their solutions, and tips for solving tougher puzzles. Every time I read one of these, I find my addiction to sudoku rekindled. If it weren’t so fun, it would be diabolical.

Rating: 7 ½
December 2010
ISBN# 978-0-425-23827-1 (paperback)

The rest of the series:


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