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Authors: Kasey Michaels

High Heels and Homicide

BOOK: High Heels and Homicide
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Outstanding praise for Kasey Michaels and Maggie Kelly!

MAGGIE NEEDS AN ALIBI

“Deliciously funny…Michaels handles it all with aplomb, gaily satirizing the current state of publishing, slowly building the romantic tension between Maggie and her frustratingly real hero, and providing plenty of laughs for the reader.”

—
Publishers Weekly

“Readers will relish Michaels's clever and highly amusing mystery.”

—
Booklist

“The innovative Kasey Michaels comes up with a bewitching story that will have you laughing out loud. The plot is fresh, Maggie appealing, Detective Wendell charming, and Saint Just—well, meet him and decide!”

—
Romantic Times

“A great read…funny and well-written.”

—
Mystery News

MAGGIE BY THE BOOK

“Colorful characters and humorous dialogue populate this wonderful sequel to
Maggie Needs an Alibi
and leave the reader waiting for more.”

—
Booklist

“Romance and cozy fans will welcome this cross-genre sequel to Michaels's
Maggie Needs an Alibi
, with its original premise, sympathetic if reluctant heroine, and lively supporting cast.”

—
Publishers Weekly

“Once again, we're thrown into mayhem and enjoy every moment. Kasey Michaels's unique voice has developed another song—a true joy. Oh, what fun! More please.”

—
Rendezvous

MAGGIE WITHOUT A CLUE

“Michaels delivers more fantasy and fun in her third witty, well-plotted cozy…a surprising conclusion will leave readers wanting more.”

—
Publishers Weekly

“Pure magic—if you love a good mystery, lots of laughter and a touch of romance, Maggie's your girl. As always, Kasey Michaels tickles the funny bone and touches the heart. If you haven't met Maggie yet, what are you waiting for?!”

—Mariah Stewart,
New York Times
best-selling author

HIGH HEELS AND HOMICIDE

“Michaels has a true flair for observant characterizations, witty dialogue and high crime, and Saint Just is simply delicious. Really good fun.”

—
Romantic Times

“A wonderful send-up of the British country house murders and the movies thereof. A colorful delight.”

—
Mystery Lovers Bookshop News

Books by Kasey Michaels

CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF OF YOU

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY

BE MY BABY TONIGHT

THIS MUST BE LOVE

THIS CAN'T BE LOVE

MAGGIE NEEDS AN ALIBI

MAGGIE BY THE BOOK

MAGGIE WITHOUT A CLUE

HIGH HEELS AND HOMICIDE

HIGH HEELS AND HOLIDAYS

Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation

High Heels and Homicide
KASEY MICHAELS

KENSINGTON BOOKS
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.
http://www.kensingtonbooks.com

To Gail Link, who pushes.

There's nothing to writing. All you do
is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.

—Walter “Red” Smith, 1982

I can truthfully say I will never
make a bad film.

—Eddie Murphy, 1987

Cast of Characters

Maggie Kelly.
Writing as Cleo Dooley, the creator of Alexandre Blake, Viscount Saint Just, from the best-selling Saint Just Mysteries series. Both of them. Literally.

 
 

Alex Blakely aka Viscount Saint Just.
The figment of Maggie's creative imagination, her perfect hero, inexplicably come to life some months earlier in her Manhattan apartment. It's a problem…

 
 

Sterling Balder.
The obligatory loyal sidekick to Maggie's once-only fictional sleuth, now also living large in Manhattan, and a dear soul who would be too confused to ever answer to an alias.

 
 

Bernice Toland-James.
Maggie's editor, recently sober, although she is not convinced sobriety is her natural condition.

 
 

Tabitha Leighton.
Maggie's agent, married to the Bed-Hopping Champion of the Western World.

 
 

Arnaud Peppin.
The director of The Case of the Disappearing Earl, the Cleo Dooley novel to be filmed for a television movie on location in England.

 
 

Sir Rudolph Medwine.
The owner of the country manor house at which the movie will be filmed. Knighted for his creation of the Medwine Marauder fishing reel, Rudy thinks having a movie filmed at his newly purchased house would be smashing great fun.

 
 

Byrd Stockwell.
Rudy's nephew, who thinks chasing American actresses of loose morals would be smashing great fun.

 
 

Troy Barlow.
The perfect choice to play Saint Just, if the Viscount had been into bleach-streaked hair and surfboards.

 
 

Nikki Campion.
The female lead, best known for being Nikki Campion, as well as the spokesperson for Boffo Transmissions (“When shifting gears, think Boffo!”).

 
 

Evan Pottinger.
A method actor cast in the role of the dastardly villain of the piece.

 
 

Perry Posko.
An actor for whom playing the sweet, naive, often-bumbling Sterling Balder will be no stretch.

 
 

Dennis Lloyd.
An English thespian hoping to make the roll of Clarence, the Saint Just valet, into an Emmy-winning performance.

 
 

Sam Undercuffler.
The screenwriter who adapted Maggie's book for the small screen.

 
 

Joanne Pertuccelli.
The regulation corporate bitch, employed by the production company to keep the filming on time and under budget.

 
 

Marylou Keppel.
Script girl, stand-in, and gofer, hoping to add to her list of “Actors I Have Boinked.”

Prologue

Dear Journal,

Once more I take up my pen to record the happenings of my life and of those around me. I must admit that I have been quite remiss in my entries these past six weeks or more, but I have been much occupied with assembling our apartment after the shambles it had become thanks to those horrible gentlemen I told you about not so long ago.

But everything is all right and tight now, and properly done up according to feng shui guidelines. (Mrs. Tabby Leighton has corrected me, and it is not feng
shooee
, as I had thought, but feng
schway
—isn't that interesting? Saint Just says it isn't.)

My only problem now is that Mrs. McBedie, whom Saint Just has engaged to look after us, will persist in facing the three-legged money frog in entirely the incorrect direction whenever she dusts the “Wealth” corner of our main saloon (what Maggie calls a living room, which I think rather eerie, as who wants to lounge about in a
living
room?).

Unfortunately, we don't have much time to enjoy our new apartment, which now legally belongs to Saint Just, who is quite happily solvent now that he is half of the photographic modeling pair of himself and our own Mary Louise, posing for magazine and even billboard advertisements for Fragrances by Pierre. It is, I must admit, rather disconcerting to see Saint Just twenty-five feet tall in Times Square.

And we have just baskets and baskets of lovely toiletries now, courtesy of Mr. Pierre, but Saint Just persists in favoring Brut. Maggie finds this amusing.

Saint Just has been toiling night and day at this new venture, which, he told me rather proudly, entails considerably more work than he had supposed when he agreed to pose. Mary Louise has been able to forgo other employment (and more nefarious document-counterfeiting dealings), and is now a student only, completing her last year at what she calls NYU.

It's lovely to see so much progress since our arrival on this plane of existence just a few short, exciting months ago.

Saint Just still oversees the Streetcorner Orators and Players (or however he says it—I keep forgetting the order), with Mary Louise's cousin and houseboys in charge. The enterprise has grown to include forty-seven street corners. Just imagine. Saint Just now calls himself an entrepreneur, which also makes Maggie laugh. I like it when she laughs.

Because even all this to-ing and fro-ing by Saint Just does not explain the Decided Coolness I have observed between him and our Maggie, friend and creator of both Saint Just and me. I only hope that she is not so put out with us that she decides to stop writing about us, because I am not sure if we can continue to exist outside our books once Maggie has turned us off inside her head.

That's the problem with being imaginary characters come to life: this tenuous existence. Saint Just says he is working to ensure that we evolve, grow, and become more of our own persons, thereby enabling us to create our own identities, completely separate from Maggie, so perhaps this is why she seems to be sulking. I think Maggie likes to be Needed.

She has completed her new book in record time, a full three months early, which is explained by the fact that she has been all but living in front of her computer seven days a week. Regardless, she is now officially on vacation for the next month, before needing to begin her research for another Saint Just adventure, but has yet to put on an All Done party, as has been her custom in the past. Then again, considering what occurred after the last All Done party, I suppose she has her reasons and all of that.

But back to what is happening now, dear Journal, not what is already past. After all, I believe this journaling business is supposed to be a chronicle, not a history, yes?

Bernie has returned from her drying-out place, and seeing her editor and very good friend again has put the roses back in Maggie's cheeks, just a little bit, although I'm still concerned for her. She so badly wanted a cigarette the other night that she asked me to “light” the pretzel she'd been munching, poor thing.

But, as Saint Just reminded me, the weeks have passed by and the day is rapidly approaching when we must all travel to a place called Ocean City, in a state called New Jersey (quite unlike our own English Jersey, I fear), to partake of Thanksgiving dinner with Maggie's parents.

I know very little about Mr. and Mrs. Kelly, save that Maggie studiously avoids them whenever possible. In addition, the fact that Maggie has explained Saint Just and me to all in New York as the distant English relations she patterned her Saint Just books on in the first place could prove a tad sticky, as her parents are unaware of our existence.

Saint Just volunteered to have us remain here, safely out of sight in Manhattan, but Maggie looked at him with such
daggers
that he quickly rescinded that offer. Besides, we leave for England directly after the parental visit, invited guests of the film company that will be turning the very first Saint Just Mystery into a movie made just to fit television screens. I wonder who will portray me. I hope he isn't pudgy and balding. Then again, I am pudgy and balding.

My Henry will be well taken care of by Mrs. McBedie, who has quite a fondness for mice, thank goodness, although she will insist upon thinking of him as a hamster, a species she considers a more domesticated animal. I am happy to report, also, that I discovered the most lovely new home for Henry, with lots and lots of tunnels for him to run through, and a wheel for him to run on, and a…but I digress. It's a failing.

Bernie will meet us there—in England, dear Journal—along with Tabby, who says an agent's place is at her author's side. Saint Just calls that a tax-deductible hum meant to give Tabby a vacation overseas, but he smiles almost indulgently when he says it. Saint Just, you see, is greatly enamoured of something called loopholes in the American tax codes.

Socks, my very good friend who has taught me all about the Duties of a Doorman, will remain here in Manhattan, to celebrate this uniquely American holiday with his mother, and to toil nightly in the off-off-Broadway play he auditioned for after his paperback-romance cover-model debut proved less than auspicious. I shall miss him, and I have told him he is free to borrow my motorized scooter any time he wishes.

Lieutenant Steve Wendell, also sadly, will not be a part of our entourage, and I will admit to you, dear Journal, if not to Saint Just, the trepidation I feel at his absence.

For, as you already know, dear Journal, we often seem to have need of a representative of the constabulary.

Respectfully,
Sterling Balder

BOOK: High Heels and Homicide
3.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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