Harley Jane Kozaks Dead Ex has just hit the bookshelves, and already its getting lots of buzz. Kozak made her name as an actor in films such as Parenthood and Arachnophobiaand soap operas like Guiding Light. Then she turned her eye to writing and launched the Wollie Shelley mystery series, winning the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel and the Toby Bromberg Award for Most Humorous Mystery for her debut Dating Dead Men, an especially nice trick. Dating Is Murder soon followed, along with more accolades. Dead Exis the third outing for the spunky Ms. Shelley, an L.A. greeting card artist and amateur sleuth. When her friend Joey becomes the prime suspect in a murder, Shelley sets out to prove Joey is innocent. Of course, there are all the requisite twists, turns and trip-ups (for one thing, the dead guy is Wollies ex-boyfriend). Dead Ex has been described as a laugh-out-loud whodunit. If youre wondering how murder can be funny, its not so much the dying part thats funny, its what the survivors do afterwards that is. A Hollywood insider, Kozak peoples her books with quirky daytime television stars, crazed paparazzi, overly dedicated cops and slippery lovers. Its sort of chick-lit-meets-black-comedy, or Miss Marple in heels.
Tue., Aug. 21, 6:30 p.m.