Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Chelsea Girl Murders, by Sparkle Hayter

(hb; 2000: fifth book in the Robin Hudson Mystery series )

From the inside flap:

"When a fire forces TV executive Robin Hudson to vacate her apartment, she and her cat, Louise Bryant, move into the fabled Chelsea Hotel, the bohemian hostelry where artists both famous and infamous have long lived in semipeaceful coexistence with countless hangers-on, wanna-bes, and rubberneckers looking for the 'real' New York.

"Then a smoky-eyed art dealer she's just met dies on her doorstep, drawing Robin reluctantly into a murder investigation. Is the murder related tin some way to the star-crossed and rather irritable young lovers who have appealed to Robin for help? Or to a deadly catfight between rival lovers of the dead man? And how do the cake-baking nuns of Immaculate Confection, Inc., figure in it?

"To sort it out, Robin must brave the whole downtown scene and more guerilla artists, jealous women, Zen bodybuilders, gouty widows, and befuddled tourists. It could make a girl crazy, having to dig deep into the history of the venerable hotel nicknamed (not without reason) 'the mother ship.' Oh, plus. . . one final, terrible complication: Robin seems to have fallen accidentally in love."


More wacky and eclectic kicks with Robin Hudson: by temporarily shifting Robin's home digs to the infamous Chelsea Hotel, author Hayter injects the series with fresh weirdness, and equally-funny characters and situations.

If you like the other Robin Hudson mysteries, there's an excellent chance you'll like this one. Less frenetic than The Last Manly Man and Revenge of the Cootie Girls, this is a more centered effort, less scattershot in its wild elements than those novels -- a fitting finale to Robin Hudson's book-bound investigations.

Hilarious series. Check it out!

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