Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes by David Handler

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for David Handler's latest, The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes.

Stewart Hoag has made a name for himself as a writer (with his one acclaimed novel) and highly sought after ghostwriter (with three #1 bestsellers). His recent prospects haven't quite been up his alley (a Barney memoir, no thanks!), but now his agent has something big: years ago, critically acclaimed writer Richard Aintree disappeared. The widower left behind two orphaned daughters, one of whom Hoagy himself has a connection to. The other daughter, a Martha Stewart-esque brand in her own right, has been experiencing a bit of a downturn in her career and so, when a letter supposedly from her long lost dad arrives requesting that she, his old agent, and Hoagy get involved in a project together, curiosity and money win out. 

Hoagy and his canine companion, Lulu, travel to LA to stay with Monette Aintree as they wait for daddy dearest to reveal himself, and the story he wants told. Then Hoagy's long lost love - Monette's estranged sister, Reggie, shows up with a letter of her own. Not that Hoagy minds, the more the merrier plus it seems the perfect excuse for a party in Monette's eyes. Until said fĂȘte turns into a fiasco with Monette herself claiming responsibility for murder. But something smells, and it isn't just Lulu's breath. Now Hoagy has to put his investigative skills to use to find out what's really going on. 

The Girl With the Kaleidoscope Eyes marks a two decades in the making return to the Stewart Hoag series, apparently. The series debuted in 1988 with The Man Who Died Laughing and, until now, ended in 1997 with The Man Who Loved Women Too Much. And I wasn't familiar with any of them. At all. So I was a little worried. But apparently this is one of Harlan Coben's favorite series, which was enough for me to want to give it a shot.

And it worked fine. Consider it a series reboot - a starting place for newbies but a return to a long beloved series for fans as well.

And rather than bring the character and series forward to today, it's set in the 90s!

Hoagy (as he likes to be called) has a penchant for licorice ice cream and a knack for celebrity secrets. The latter, combined with his writing chops, makes him perfect as a celebrity ghostwriter (you know, the person who really pens those celebrity memoirs even though they don't get credit). But apparently he also has a knack for getting involved in murder investigations.

I enjoyed Handler's lighter tone and humorous style. Plus, these are mysteries about books! And I am a sucker for books about the industry. Though to be honest, there's not a whole lot of writing that goes on in this one - mostly they're hanging out waiting for Richard Raintree (or the person pretending to be him) to be revealed. But there's plenty of other things going on - Monette's in the middle of a nasty separation that, thanks to her celebrity status, is playing out very publicly. And Hoagy does consider that the sudden appearance of her "father" could be a publicity stunt. But he's threatened the very day he arrives in town, and apparently isn't one to back down from a fight. So hoax or no, he's in it to the end.

The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes is fun and light. If you enjoy amateur sleuths, books about books, canine buddy reads, and/or celebrity gossip scandals, I'd absolutely recommend giving this one a try!

There aren't really many references to Hoagy's past adventures, which again means that it's easy to slip into this ninth in the series even without any former knowledge of its predecessors. But if you do want to start from the beginning, the series has been kept in print via ebook! Here's the full list:

The Man Who Died Laughing
The Man Who Lived By Night
The Man Who Would be F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Woman Who Fell From Grace
The Boy Who Never Grew Up
The Man Who Cancelled Himself
The Girl Who Ran Off With Daddy
The Man Who Loved Women to Death
The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on David Handler you can visit his website here. You can also like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Any book with a canine companion gets automatic bonus points from me. I love Lulu already!
Thanks for being a part of the tour.