After the annual parade of Christmas presents in Tinker's
Cove has ended, Lucy Stone and her daughter Elizabeth are
ready to ring in the new year in style. Elizabeth has won
mother/daughter winter makeovers in Manhattan from Jolie
magazine! But the all-expenses-paid trip is bound to have
some hidden costs-and one of them is murder....
As excited as Elizabeth is to hit the Big Apple, Lucy's
less thrilled to be heading straight into post-holiday
shopping crowds in the middle of a flu epidemic. Then
again, she has to admit-if only to herself-that her work-
from-home personal style could use a bit of an update. And
she is looking forward to visiting an old college friend
and culture-vulturing it all over town, from museums to
budget art-house flicks. Besides, how often do
opportunities for sophisticated mother/daughter bonding on
someone else's dime come along, anyway?
After finally arriving at the offices of Jolie, meeting
their fellow makeover candidates, and being treated to a
fashion show, Elizabeth is enamored of the extreme outfits
and stick-thin models-while Lucy's having some misgivings.
The pampering is nice (never underestimate the
transformative powers of a $500 haircut) and the glitz and
glamour of haute couture is bizarrely fascinating, but
bitterness and aggression lurk behind the Jolie's hipper-
than-thou faÃ§ade. And things turn downright ugly when self-
absorbed fashion editor Nadine Nelson falls mysteriously
ill and then dies.
Lucy saw first-hand some of the backstabbing going on at
Jolie. And the red-hot rumor mill soon reveals that the
cliquish connection among the magazine's cabal of high-
style executives-fierce tempered fashionistas Camilla
Keith, Elise Frazier, and Nadine herself-has stirred up
plenty of bad blood over the years. Numerous staffers,
from workaholic assistant Phyllis Finch to oft-maligned
photo editor Pablo Prinz, have found themselves at the
other end of the trio's sharp claws. To say suspects
abound would be an understatement.
But this Manhattan murder mystery hits too close to home
when Elizabeth gets rushed to the hospital with symptoms
that are disturbingly similar to Nadine's. Now, it's up to
Lucy to dress down a killer before the ball drops in Times