West 57th B. N. Freeman
At times a ghost can come in handy when you need one. Imagine being able to talk with your father’s ghost, get his take on things and help running a publishing house that he left to you. But, Julie Chavan is anything but usual. She is headstrong, impulsive and often finds herself in situations that she wishes she could avoid. Like owning West 57th the publishing house that is how her own responsibility and the thought that it might go under is something she does not relish. Debts owed. Only one book being launched with and author that is anything but conventional or even talented. King Royal is brash, drunk, enjoys saying outrageous things in public, reciting limericks and short poems and often finds himself in wild and strange circumstances. But, just what is behind King Royal’s behavior and what secrets does he know about Sonny, Julie’s father that could change everything?
Owning this company is just one of the daily troubles dealing with her overbearing mother Cherie who wants to orchestrate and run her life hoping she will chuck it all, marry her ex-finance, deal with her wild best brined and find her way to Los Angeles and running her production company. Everyone thinks that they know what Julie should be doing or want. But, what about Julie?
Some of the interactions are quite hilarious and each time King Royal comes into the act things really heat up. The book signing and book launch was planned out but no one would expect several patrons to bring little dogs, have them attack King Royal and what happens to him and the end result is well you have to read it for yourself to appreciate the hilarity and the humor created by the author. But, West 57th means a lot of Julie and to her editor Garrett. Here is where things get really quite dicey as we learn about her true feelings for him, what would happen if she sells out and the fact that she and Thad her old boyfriend have got it back on.
That’s not all there is more as we learn that an FBI agent named Brown is following Julie and when they finally connect more havoc ensues as King Royal disappears, claims that his life is in danger, a reporter named Duggan who wants to scoop on the whole Irving Wolfe death and disappearance is murdered and this is just the beginning. What does Julie know about Wolfe’s last night on the boat? Did he commit suicide? Was her father on the boat? What is the secret that King Royal has and why does he want more money to keep quiet? Best friends and drinking partner has a plan that would force Julie to remain where she is and go into a venture with her. Can they pull off owning both a publishing house, music division, gaming division and much more? Can they work together without driving each other crazy? Bree is a true friend in most respects except when she is in need of a man and does not care who he belongs too. Added in Cherie enlightens Julie on an impromptu visit about her father, their relationship and why she left. Love, honor, betrayal, revenge, friendship and relationships and one girl’s need to find herself and where she really belongs, West 57th is chocked will with drama, laughter and what this author does best MURDER! When it is revealed that Irving Wolfe is really dead and has been murdered and that Nick Duggan the reporter was shot as was Irving what is the common denominator: You guessed it I won’t give it away!
Conversations between Bree and Julie are quite humorous yet sad in some respects as both are searching for new horizons and each going about it in her own way yet in some ways destructive. With Cherie hoping that Julie and Thad will tie the knot. Julie considers her mother’s offer to move to California as Bree comes up with a business venture that just might change it all. But, can Julie honestly find happiness with Thad? Can Thad stay faithful and what is his real motive for wanting Julie to come to California? When is she going to let go of Cherie’s apron strings and finally stand up to her and on her own? Overpowering, over indulging her own whims and a mother who cares but mainly for what she wants, will she ever respect Julie for who she is and stop trying to orchestrate and plan her life?
King Royal seems to be at the center of it all and as you get to know him you realize that he is more like an albatross around the neck of Julie’s company even though he might just bring it into the black and out of the red. If he goes missing or is dead sales might go up sky high. When FBI agent Brown goes to his hotel to find him why is he missing? Just who killed Irving Wolfe? Who else was on that boat and why did Walter Pope want to kill King Royal at his book launching?
Captain Absolute was her father’s project, which she was surprised to know. Thinking the idea belonged to Bree. Bree was his agent and the truth behind the funding is what changed it all and caused the deaths of the reporter and Wolfe. Learning that her father and Wolfe were partners in West 57th changed the way Julie looked at everything which is why her mother wanted to walk away and sell to Helmet Gernestier and allow the company to continue on. With the FBI agent hot on her trail, questions being asked and wanting to know who killed the reporter and evidence brought to light as to what might have happened on the boat, Julie begins to doubt her father’s innocence and that sends a huge dark cloud over her. But, even more she seems to be pushing everyone away and being with Thad just might be toxic.
King Royal winds up disappearing and when they finally find him you won’t believe in what state or where.
Julie cannot face her feelings for Garrett and a simple misunderstanding sends her back to Thad and going along with what her mother wants for her instead of looking long and hard at what she needs. But, when Garrett puts it too her straight and solid she does not want to hear it: “Everyone is running your life except you.” Think about that Julie! Just what happens to reveal whom the killer really is but first she wants to revisit Libby and hopefully rekindle her fame with her newest book after twenty years called Woodham Road. But, will anyone want to publish it at West 57th? What about forming an alliance with Bree and not moving to California? Will she sell it? Will she move? Will Julie face herself in the mirror and realize what is right in front of her?
An ending that is explosive, filled with a surprise and twist you will never see coming as author B.N. Freeman reveals the truth behind Captain Absolute, the funding and just his own special brand of intrigue and murder. This book is a definite romance, mystery/murder thriller with humor, sarcasm, hilarity and the author’s special brand of writing. Let’s hope that Bree, Julie and Garrett come back to let readers know what’s next for them!
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/ MJ Magazine