A Dangerous Fiction: A MysteryA Dangerous Fiction: A Mystery by Barbara Rogan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

dangerous, indeed. altho possibly mostly to your mental health.

normally i wouldn’t buy a book with the word “glamorous” in the back jacket copy, but this one got a blurb from the San Francisco Book Review, which i mistook in my scan haste for the SF Chron book review. the Chron mostly gives a thumbs-up to some genuinely fine works of fiction. i guess the SF Book Review is a different critter altogether.

our glamorous heroine runs an NYC book agency. despite still grieving for the loss of her nearly canonized writer husband, she runs the biz with pluck and style. until the agency starts getting cyber-stalked and her best author and best friend end up dead.

NPR said that this is an “absorbing mystery that keeps its secret until the very end,” and it sort of does. one can spot the dastardly evildoer long before the end despite the red herrings, but the why of it is kept concealed until the end. alas, this is not for lack of putting things together on the reader’s part, which is the joy of mysteries–it’s because we lack the necessary info until the evildoer confesses in a long, agatha-christie-like scene. boo. hiss.

and then… there are the really irritating things.

i may have to make a new category for “books stuffed full of NYC navel-gazing” or something similar. do i have to say it again? NYC–you are not the center of the universe! yes, we in the tiny non-NYC section of the US get that you are just so fucking cool you cannot stop admiring yourself in a mirror. but… get the fuck over it.

also, women who don’t eat are not cool. women who brag about not eating are exceptionally not cool. i don’t care if you think anything over a size 6 is obese and you have an enduring obsession with the surface of things… it’s not cool. it’s stupid.

plus, clothes that come with a given name and a surname are not impressive, except perhaps in that miniscule percentage of the US is that is not NYC. you may be ready to prostitute yourselves for manolo blahnik (or whatever the fuck his name is) shoes, but you know what? nobody else cares.

finally, jeez… if i were the murderer in this book, i would have skipped the convoluted scheming and gone directly for our glamorous protag, just for the utter condescension in her treatment of moi. ok let’s be spoilery: the glamorous agency head is being deviled by her secretary (which, if you have any brains, you’ll figure out early anyway). our glamorous protag is forever bitching about her secretary’s extra 20 pounds and dowdy clothes, then (smarmily) admiring her “dog-like” loyalty and etc etc. she actually buys her secretary things she thinks are more stylish. if i worked for our glamorous protag for five minutes, i’d want to kill her. what a shallow, self-centered, condescending bitch.

there. thank you. i feel better now. don’t read the book.