Monday, May 28, 2007

A Nod to AMC's Bobby Martin

Morgan Tyler's work is a soap opera, and so is her life. That's the attraction of Linda Palmer's novel series featuring Morgan, a co-producer and head writer for daytime drama "Love of My Life."

Palmer's fourth installment, Kiss of Death (308 pages, Berkley Prime Crime, $7.99) is complete with cliff-hangers, murder and romance.

First, Morgan must try to clear her best friend, lawyer Nancy Cummings, who's charged with murdering Veronica Rose, the former wife of Nancy's colleague and boyfriend, Arnold Rose. Then there's the mystery of Morgan's past -- she was found abandoned in a van in West Virginia with no clue to her origins, and now she wants to discover them; she hires her buddy, dwarf detective Bobby Novello, to pursue her past. To top things off, Morgan's love life finds her torn among three potential lovers.

There's also a minor subplot involving a "Love of My Life" character who lies down to take a nap and hasn't been heard from since. It's a sly and amusing reference to the early days of the venerable "All My Children," during which Bobby Martin went to the attic on an errand and was never heard from again.

Palmer handles these multiple plotlines with ease, paces the story perfectly and creates characters the reader cares about. Stay tuned for more of Morgan's adventures, which may well outnumber Erica Kane's marriages.

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