The frantic fun-and-games atmosphere of New York's annual Toy Fair is the ironic setting for this tale of murder and industrial intrigue. Hilary Quayle is an attractive, young public relations consultant who has long harbored the desire to be a detective. It is with little urging, therefore, that she becomes involved in trying to ferret out the industrial spy who is ruining one of her best clients, Trim Tram Toys. On the opening morning of the Toy Fair, the design for a new toy is stolen, and the preliminary investigation leads to the discovery of the body of the prime suspect.
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In a famous Nashville family, a deadly feud is as much a tradition as country music. Hilary Quayle has never done public relations for a country-western client, but Amanda Boulder's songwriting is beautiful, her voice is pure, and her career is in bad need of a good publicist. But there's one thing standing in the way of a great solo career: The rest of the Boulder family. The Boulders have been touring for eight decades, ever since old Pappy Boulder first picked up a fiddle. But before Amanda's budding solo career can put an end to the family business, someone decides to put an end to her.
In college, Hilary Quayle dreamed of the stage, and playing all the great leading ladies that Shakespeare had to offer. But her interest was due less to the Bard than to another man: director, actor, and theatrical personality Michael Godwin. And though she got her wish, she found that acting onstage and romancing backstage did not add up to happiness.
The Sons of the Desert are serious about comedy, fond of cocktails, and utterly devoted to the films of Laurel and Hardy. Their meetings are always merry, boozy romps, but the laughter dies whenever Wayne Poe takes the stage. A comic with bad timing, bad material, and a mean streak, he's known for stealing jokes and getting nasty when they bomb - which is just about every time he steps into the spotlight.
PR whiz Hilary Quayle not only fired her assistant, Gene, she also broke up with him on the same day. And since the implosion of their office romance, Gene has been stuck in Philadelphia, consoling himself with Riverday, a soap opera most notable for its star's uncanny resemblance to his former boss.