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Maggie by the Book (Thorndike Americana) [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Kasey Michaels

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Book Description

Nov 2003 Thorndike Americana
In this second book in the completely original and sexy new series from New York Times bestselling author Kasey Michaels, Maggie Kelly picks up where she left off in Maggie Needs an Alibi. When Maggie Kelly was fired from her job of writing historical romances, she was clever and resilient enough to reinvent herself as a mystery author. But something happens that's got tough talking, quick-thinking Maggie swooning into her super-soft sofa cushions in her Upper East Side apartment--something in the form of an incredibly sexy Englishman by the name of Alexandre Drake, Viscount Saint Just. Tall, dark, handsome, with an accent to die for and charm to spare, Saint Just is everything Maggie's ever dreamed of in a man. There's just one problem. He's not real. He's the character who's made her a bestselling author. But for some reason, he is standing in the middle of her apartment. With the adorable, bumbling sidekick--a one Sterling Balder--she created for him right by her side. So, when Maggie attends a romance writers conference and a handsome cover model is found dead, it's up to Maggie, Saint Just and Balder to find out who the murderer is. And always complicating matters is her ongoing attraction to Lieutenant Steve Wendell who, several months earlier, had helped clear maggie's name in the murder of her former love and publisher, Kirk Toland. Combining the wit of Moonlighting with the breeziness of Kate and Leopold, the Maggie Kelly series is a completely new take on comic mystery and will appeal to fans of Jennifer Crusie and Janet Evanovich.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 485 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786257881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786257881
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 13.9 x 2.6 cm

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"Kasey Michaels creates characters who stick with you long after her wonderful stories are told." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, funny, and upbeat satirical mystery 4 Aug 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
She was doing well writing historical romances but when her sales plummeted she switched genres and is happily writing one historical Regency mystery a year for seven figures. Maggie Kelley, writing as Cleo Dooley, has a New York Times best selling series starring the handsome, suave and devil may care amateur sleuth Alexandre Drake, Viscount Saint Just and his Watson, Sterling Bader. Maggie's imagination made these two characters so realistic that they appeared in her living room one day and never left.
Saint Just decides that all three of them are going to attend the annual WAR (We Are Romance, Inc.) because he wants to win the prize more for the costume and sexiest cover model. From the start, the conference proves to be unsafe, as conventioneers are electrocuted, inundated with prank phone calls, and overwhelmed by an infestation of mice. When a romance reviewer is murdered, it is up to Saint Just and company to figure out whom is the prankster and who is the killer.
If the heroine was more secure and if she believed that Saint Just wouldn't disappear, she might allow herself to care for him. Since she is afraid she tries, sometimes successfully, to ignore the attraction she feels for her creation (shades of Dr. Frankenstein). Kasey Michaels has written a wonderful, funny, and upbeat mystery that satirizes the romance and mystery publishing industries and the conventions they spawn.
Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why you love Bernie, Mare & Sterling even more. 25 Mar 2005
By C. Reaves - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While I hold "Maggie Needs an Alibi" a little higher than "By the Book", I adore this one as well.

Having read the first book (as one should before reading the second), it was only slightly more difficult to figure out Whodunnit in the second. So, that is why it is only slightly less satisfying than the first. HOWEVER, in this book you get to see more of Bernie, Mare and Sterling, and that is cause for rejoicing. (Not that there's anything wrong with Maggie or Alex, but I always hold a special place for fun background characters.)

The other day I had one of my overwhelming urges to re-read this gem. I even went as far as to clean my room. No dice - so I'll have to buy the book again. It's worth the second buy!

Looking forward to the third book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Killers to the left of me, hacks to the right, here I am... 27 July 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
"Killers to the left of me, hacks to the right, here I am...stuck in the middle without a clue." This is a taste of the wonderful sense of humor Kasey Michaels infuses into her protagonist Maggie Kelly in this second entry of the series after Maggie Needs An Alibi. If Maggie's frustration is peeking out a bit, it's no wonder. She has finally started to adjust to having the characters from her popular Regency era mystery series; Alexandre Drake, Viscount Saint Just, now calling himself Alex Blakely, and his sidekick Sterling Balder, brought to all too real, living breathing life, when she finds herself roped into attending a writer's conference, topped off with finding out Alex has entered himself in the cover model contest! Shenanigans, accidents and murder - Oh, My!

This book, for me, is primarily about the characters, followed by the mystery. Michaels' characters, including the secondary ones, are fresh and vibrant, no bland, lifeless personalities here. The emotions felt by the main characters are so understandable and relatable; Maggie's frustrations at herself for her creating the exasperating strutting, self-assured, perfect man Saint Just and Alex's confusion at what Maggie could possibly see in "Left-tenant" Steve Wendell. My favorite is the bumbling, bewildered, but lovable Sterling as he continues to adjust to modern colloquialism. And his stint at becoming a rapper you must read for yourself, I don't want to spoil one moment of the transplanted Regency gentleman's attempts at modern song. While Sterling offers a great deal of humour, it is his understated insights about his companions that gives the book its heart and soul. I also liked the touch of Sterling's first person accounts in the prologue and epilogue.

I was in need of a good, light, fun read and this book filled the niche perfectly. I wasn't sure if Michael's would be able to keep the same unique freshness and novelty as she had in the first book but, no need to worry on that front, she easily succeeds. The author is known mostly for her romance novels, which I have not read, but if you are looking for a cozy mystery with quirky, lovable characters, a completely unique twist and just a touch of romance than give this series a try. Do your self a favor and start at the beginning so you don't miss one delightful moment!
3.0 out of 5 stars Mystery Comedy 11 Sep 2004
By Huntress Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Still saddled with Alexandre Blake the Viscount St Just and his version of Dr. Watson, Sterling, Maggie Kelly has ample reasons to be tense already. Now that her bestselling characters are out of her head and living with her, writer's block is a problem. Her romantic life is a further complication. She's in love with a sexy figment, though neither fully admits the attraction. Then, to top it off, she is supposed to got to WAR, a romance writers association convention. Dealing with the two percent of raving b's among the ninety eight percent of nice people is enough to shoot her blood pressure through the roof; add it a couple of murders, deadly pranks, Sterling learning to rap, and Alex just being himself, and Maggie knows for sure that someone must have cursed her with an interesting life.

*** Sharp satire zings throughout the plot, making it an enjoyable read whether or not you're in the mood for murder. The writer's cleverness shines through every page, and keen eyed readers will undoubtedly pick up on many in jokes. ***

Amanda Killgore
5.0 out of 5 stars Maggie, Saint Just & Sterling Part II 25 Sep 2009
By T. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second installment of the Maggie Kelly series and continues the development of Maggie, Alex and Sterling.

What is particularly fun about this installment is that the reader is able to enter the "hallowed halls" of publishing - WAR.

Saint Just wants to earn his own money, Maggie wants her old life back (?) and Sterling is as usual his sweet self.

This series is fun to read - and the characters become more real as they go.
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