Damage Control by Denise Hamilton
Addicted to Adderall in an effort to keep her edge over the competition, Maggie Silver works at the public relations firm The Blair Company. The Blair Company, based in Los Angeles, has all the A-list clients—movie stars, sports figures, anyone rich and famous who needs to tweak the story a bit when it comes out in the news that they’ve been involved in an incident. Though the novel begins with Maggie representing a baseball player who has been accused of rape (in an alternate version of the Kobe Bryant incident), Maggie soon finds herself working to polish the name of a California Senator, Henry Paxton. Senator’s Paxton’s young aide has been murdered—strangled—and the Paxtons want damage control.
The problem for Maggie is that, years before, as teens, she and Senator Paxton’s daughter had been best friends. But their friendship dissolved one night at a wild party where Anabelle Paxton was raped. Still, Maggie needs the job—she has a mortgage to pay and a sick mom to take care of.
Now that Maggie is reconnecting with the family, she wonders if they are really the good people she believed them to be all those years ago. At least Luke, Anabelle’s brother, is as handsome and sexy as ever.
Some students who have been assigned the reading of a mystery this October have told me they’d like to try an adult book. This is a fun one to start with if you’re looking for a mystery with many plot twists and turns. The PR angle is a bit different than the usual PI, but Maggie finds herself in as much danger as any investigator. The book also has an interesting side thread running through it. The author wrote a regular perfume column for the Los Angels Times. Her knowledge of rare perfumes and exotic scents adds a lot of fun to the book. This is a good one for beginning mystery readers—you may got hooked on the genre!