Saturday, September 18, 2010

Name Dropping by Jane Heller ****

I had picked up two Jane Hellers in hardback from the local Goodwill over a year ago, and decided to read them just this past week. The 3 Heller books I've read have been good - a little more on the chick lit side of romance than my usual fare, with first person POV and a love story mixed in with a story of personal growth and some best friends.

In Name Dropping, kindergarten teacher Nancy Stern just found out that a semi-famous journalist, also named Nancy Stern, had moved into her apartment building in Manhattan. She discovered this when she started receiving invitations by mail to some very chic parties and even to the White House. She also got phone calls for Ms Stern, all of which she reported to the "right" Nancy Stern - except for one.

When Bill called for a blind date at the insistence of a mutual friend (of the "right" Nancy), the Wrong Nancy was so intrigued with his voice that she lied and pretended to be the other one. They went on a date, she lied and lied and felt the magic sparks of true love so much that she forgot to ever own up to her identity. After about 3 dates, she decided that just breaking up with him was going to be easier than revealing that she had been lying all this time. Then, however, the Real, semi-famous Nancy was murdered in her apartment, and everything changed.

Bill worked for a jewelry store - well, he told her he was the manager of the store. And when she went there, to show him a brooch given to her by one of her rich young charges, he was there and told her it was probably paste but he would test it. Was it paste?

OK, there I get into spoiler territory. Was he the manager? Not gonna say. It was a fun romp, lots of Heller's style of humor and her best-friend sidekicks, with this murder-mystery going on in the background. I enjoyed it, going into it knowing it was not what I usually like but still...

4 stars

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