All that writer Cece Caruso -- a 39-year-old former beauty queen from New Jersey -- really wants to do is finish her biography of Erle Stanley Gardner so that she can finally stop obsessing about Perry Mason. Well, that and find a 1970 silk chiffon Ossie Clark to add to her collection of vintage clothing. And fix the broken front doorknob on her West Hollywood bungalow. But first she has to help save her daughter's foundering marriage, which is more than Cece could manage for her own.
Besides her beloved collection of vintage designer clothing, there is nothing Cece Caruso cherishes more than her childhood memories of Nancy Drew. Her near obsession with the fictional teenage sleuth led her to become a professional biographer of classic mystery writers. And now that she's working on a book about Nancy's pseudonymous creator, "Carolyn Keene", Cece's in heaven.
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Cece Caruso is thrilled that her biography of the legendary Dashiell Hammett is headed for the big screen. Rafe Simic, the actor cast as the lead, may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the money she'll make tutoring him in the ABCs of The Maltese Falcon should be good enough to feed her addiction to vintage Yves St. Laurent. But when the dead body of one of Rafe's old flames is discovered, Cece can't help but ask questions.
For the grand opening weekend, Cece is staging a play featuring the beloved sleuth Miss Marple. Of course, everything goes wrong, including a leading lady who ends up dead. All is not well in Christietown; its secrets are as complicated as the truth behind Agatha Christie's real-life disappearance. The developer, an Englishman who claims to be Dame Agatha's descendent, has ruthless investors breathing down his neck.
Cece Caruso-mystery biographer extraordinaire, vintage clothing enthusiast, and part-time sleuth-is in freefall. First, she calls off her wedding, for reasons even she can't explain. Second, her newest biography (of Alfred Hitchcock) is way past deadline. So Cece puts on a houndstooth suit with peplum and heads out to see Vertigo, only to come home with a cell phone belonging to a stranger named Anita Colby. Nothing if not a good citizen, Cece tries to return the cell phone-only to hear someone push Anita off a cliff.