“Ruth Fenton is dead, but what does that have to do with me?” That’s what Candace Grey, 29, wants to know after receiving a puzzling phone message from San Francisco. A bright, but slightly absent-minded anthropology teacher at a small Michigan college, Candace is all set to leave for Los Angeles to conduct research on 1960s TV star Pamela Parrish—America’s Sitcom Sweetheart—for her Master’s thesis on television and female gender roles. But after discovering that Ruth Fenton is a long lost relative, she’s first off to San Francisco for her memorial service where she meets a crazy(?) old lady who claims Pamela Parrish didn’t commit suicide like everybody says—she was murdered. Now Candace has to get to the bottom of it, all while fighting the nagging feeling that her long-time professor boyfriend back home is getting a little too close to one of his students, and at the same time wondering if new-found friend Brandon, a newspaper reporter and budding painter who lives on a hidden stairway street in the hills of San Francisco, is really the guy for her. It’s a funny, but moving, uphill climb for Candace who finds that things are rarely what they seem in the ups and downs of love or in discovering a surprising secret about her not-so-perfect mother, or unearthing the truth behind the death of America’s Sitcom Sweetheart.
Call me pleasantly surprised! I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this. It’s not my usual genre preference, but once I started reading it I truly enjoyed it. Candace Grey is a lovely character with all the faults and flaws that make her seem like a person you could talk to while waiting in line at your favorite coffee shop.
I didn’t much like her best friend, Laney at first. Actually, I didn’t like her through most of the book, but by the end she had redeemed herself. The mystery surrounding Pamela Parish was fun with a few twists involved that weren’t expected, but enjoyable to discover along with Candace. The love interests, Brandon and Jeff, were believable as well, though one revelation was quite obvious (to me at least). All in all, it was a fun read that I was glad to have discovered!
I give it 3 stars!
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