You can't judge a book by its cover. To look at her, one
would never think suburbanite homemaker Jane Jeffry would
be interested in murder and mayhem. But after all the
corpses she's come across -- and killers she's unmasked --
she's practically an expert on the subject. Which is why,
with best buddy Shelley Nowack in tow, Jane's booking down
to a nearby mystery writers' convention to mingle with the
brightest lights of literary crime . . . and maybe drum up
some interest in her own recently completed manuscript.
They're all there: editors, agents, publishing bigwigs, and
famous authors like Jane and Shelley's personal fave,
Felicity Roane. Even Jane's longtime honey, Detective Mel
VanDyne, is a scheduled guest speaker. Of course there are
bound to be some bad apples in the bunch: macho-malicious
literary critic--cum--snake Zac Zebra, for example, and
loudmouth Vernetta Strausmann, who self-published her
despicable whodunit and successfully hawked it on the
However, what would a mystery convention be without a
mystery? So one is graciously supplied when a famous ego-
squashing editor keels over at the speaker's podium, undone
by an anonymous poisoner. And when a much-hated book-
bashing journalist is himself bashed quite nastily in the
parking lot, it seems fairly certain that at least one real-
life murderer is stalking the proceedings. But who is
he/she/them? The dirt-dishing, pseudonymous Internet gossip
monger "Ms. Mystery," who's lurking around there somewhere?
The local bookseller who dearly loves "Modern Golden Age"
women writers? The avid reader who seems to know a bit too
much about the personal lives of the famous attendees?
Jane and Shelley are on the case, ready to snoop,
eavesdrop, and gossip their way to a solution. But the
killer they seek is no open book . . . and may turn out to
be harder -- and deadlier -- to read than they initially