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Thursday, May 27, 2021

The Rooftop Party by Ellen Meister

The Rooftop Party by Ellen Meister
Published by MIRA ISBN 9780778309512
Trade paperback, $15.99, 336 pages

If you are someone who enjoys watching the home shopping networks, Ellen Meister's novel The Rooftop Party is a must-read for you. It's the second novel featuring Dana Barry, a successful host on the Shopping Channel, who once again finds herself in the midst of a death at the network.

At a party for the Shopping Network staff,  Dana tries to convince Ivan, the new CEO, that her idea of selling a new skin care line is a great idea. Ivan wants to eliminate all the fashion product lines, the bread-and-butter of the Shopping Channel, and sell only electronics. This idea panics the staff as they assume most of their jobs will be eliminated.

As Ivan is hitting on Dana, and grabbing her, the lights suddenly go out and Ivan's body is found on the sidewalk below. Dana doesn't know what happened as someone put something in her drink, and all she remembers is someone pulling her away before she passes out.

Dana's boyfriend, police detective Ari, is called to the scene to investigate. Dana is desperate to find out what happened; what if she was the one who pushed Ivan over the edge? She must find out what Ari knows.

She turns to her assistant Ashlee, a former beauty contestant from Tennesee, to help her uncover what happened at the roof party. Ashlee is my favorite character in the book, she is such a hoot. She always has a hilarious way of saying things- such as "she squeezes a quarter so tight the eagle screams". Ashlee is one smart cookie, and always up for a scheme. She's Ethel to Dana's Lucy.

Another thing I enjoyed was Dana finding a great deal on an apartment on the West Side of Manhattan. When she saw how fabulous it was and what a steal it was, she snatched it up without consulting Ari, even though he would be moving in with her. That infuriated Ari, but as someone who lives in Manhattan, I know Dana made the right decision. You do not wait if you find a good apartment, that is rule number one.

The Rooftop Party is a rom-com mixed with a mystery that adds up to a highly entertaining read. I truly enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at a shopping channel, even though I don't usually watch them on TV. The characters are interesting, the plot moved along, and even though I felt the ultimate reveal of the murderer was a bit of a letdown, it is still a terrific book. I didn't read the first book in the series, Love Sold Separately, but I am going to buy it because I like these characters so much. (You will not be lost if you didn't read the first one.) I hope there is a third book coming; who knew working at the Shopping Channel was so dangerous?

Thanks to Harlequin for putting me on their Summer 2021 Women's Fiction Tour.

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