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    Review of TOASTING TINA by Evan Marshall


    Kensington Books, November 2003

    When literary agent Jane Stuart's client has his million dollar book deal cancelled, Jane pulls out the stops. She demands and finally gets a meeting with publisher Tina Vale. But Tina's motives have nothing to do with the book--and everything to do with Jane. Jane stole Tina's great love and now Tina is getting even. Of course, getting even is something Tina is especially good at and she has enemies throughout the book industry. Since they are at a meeting of Romance Authors Together (RAT), plenty of Tina's enemies are lined up.

    When Tina turns up dead, an electric toaster in her bathtub with her, suicide is the first suggestion. But a missing key and a long list of enemies makes murder a more likely prospect. And Jane realizes that she'd better find the killer herself--before word gets around that she is one of the suspects. Jane's investigation takes her through a herd of obnoxious writers, horny publishers, and slimey agents before she starts to get a hint at the truth.

    Author (and literary agent) Evan Marshall adopts a breezy and fun style, pokes fun at the romance industry (the RAT meeting seems like the worst of Romantic Times and Romance Writers of America, together), and generally has a good time with this light mystery. Serious mystery buffs may be disappointed at how easy the killer is to identify, but will enjoy Marshall's fast pacing and Jane's inventive detection techniques. TOASTING TINA makes for an amusing and very quick read.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 2/19/04

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