R. T. Jordan has created a delightful and funny character in Polly Pepper. Polly is an aging TV/movie star who became a household name 30 years ago (think Dinah Shore). Now Polly lives in her mansion in Hollywood with her son, Tim, and her maid/best friend, Placenta. The three are suffering the effects of the present economic downturn so Polly is always looking for a cameo role, a guest spot, or a gig of some kind.
In A Talent for Murder Polly has signed on to be a judge for the new reality show, I'll Do Anything to Be Famous. When the mean judge turns up dead, Polly and crew are off to find the murderer. All the contestants are suspect, but when one of them dies, Polly is not so sure it is the contestants who will do anything to be famous. Perhaps someone will do anything to stay famous!
The newest addition to the series is Set Sail for Murder. One of Polly's old castmates, Laura, has arranged for the cast of Polly Pepper's Playhouse to give lectures on the old show on board a cruise to Alaska. As soon as Polly, Placenta, and Tim step on board, Polly knows all is not well. Her suite has been reassigned to Laura and Polly is not the only out-of-date celebrity on the cruise. Laura's body is found on the first day of the cruise and there are many on the ship who aren't crying over Laura and Polly is counted in that number. The captain is sure that Polly is the one who snuffed out Laura so, of course, Polly has to find the real culprit.
The books are very contemporary. You will recognize all the names dropped right up to, and including, Barack and Michelle Obama! Polly is a lovable character without a mean bone in her body. She is smart but often plays dumb to fool those around her into thinking she is just another "pretty Hollywood face." The interaction between the characters more than makes up for the convoluted plots. The series is fun and clean and the name-dropping makes you feel like you are on the inside, too. For good old-fashioned laugh-out-loud comedy, don't miss Polly Pepper.
A Polly Pepper Mystery
Remains to Be Scene (c2007)
Final Curtain (c2008)
A Talent for Murder (c2009)
Set Sail for Murder (c2010)