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The Talk Show Murders

Cover of The Talk Show Murders

The Talk Show Murders

Billy Blessing Series, Book 3
by Al Roker
Borrow Borrow Borrow
Al Roker returns with his most tantalizing mystery to date--as celebrity chef turned sleuth Billy Blessing finds his plate full of danger and secrets from his long-buried past threaten to make a...
Al Roker returns with his most tantalizing mystery to date--as celebrity chef turned sleuth Billy Blessing finds his plate full of danger and secrets from his long-buried past threaten to make a...
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Description-
  • Al Roker returns with his most tantalizing mystery to date--as celebrity chef turned sleuth Billy Blessing finds his plate full of danger and secrets from his long-buried past threaten to make a comeback.

    Before Billy Blessing was tapped to co-host the morning show Wake Up, America!, the celebrity chef lived a totally different life under a very different identity: as wily con man Billy Blanchard. Caught trying to run a scam on a shady Detroit businessman, Billy did time for his crimes, and has successfully kept that part of his past covered up ever since. But when Eddie Patton, a nosy ex-cop with a long memory, tries to blackmail him, Billy may have to pay up or to see the embarrassing truth blogcast to the world. And when Patton winds up dead, it's just the first in a string of killings that has America's most beloved TV host scrambling for clues and desperate to clear his name. Throw in a budding romance with a visiting movie star, and Billy Blessing may have finally gotten himself into one sticky situation even he can't talk his way out of.

    "Great fun! Al pulls back the curtain to reveal what really goes on when the cameras go off."--Harlan Coben

    "Great fun, full of nifty twists and turns."--Carl Hiaasen


    "An engaging performance . . . The Talk Show Murders has all the charm and depth of a network morning show. The characters are pithy and colorful."--Mystery Scene

    "As well-paced and thoughtfully prepared as an Alice Waters tasting menu."--Kirkus Reviews

    "For fans old and new, The Talk Show Murders is a book not to pass up."--The Philadelphia Tribune

Excerpts-
  • Chapter ONE

    At roughly six--thirty on a Thursday morning that dawned bright and clear, members of the Chicago Police Department's Homicide Division and Forensic Services were lured to the city's Oak Street Beach by a body that had been deposited on the sand by Lake Michigan's ebbing tide. A drowning in the lake, accidental or otherwise, was not exactly remarkable. But this one was clearly unique, though that fact was not presented immediately to the public.

    The CPD had dropped a cone of silence over the discovery. Even the hapless early--morning jogger who'd nearly stumbled over the corpse was being forced to pursue his cardio perfection in seclusion somewhere off the grid.

    Surprisingly, in this era of instant information, where members of the media are as persistent as they are plentiful, the news blackout lasted for nearly thirty hours. It was broken by a gray--haired, ill--tempered former cop named Edward "Pat" Patton. Since his retirement, Patton had begun a second career with a blog, Windy City Blowdown, devoted primarily to outspoken and often outrageous political critiques, right--wing rants and, adding a much--needed patina of credibility to his efforts, an ex--lawman's insider take on the city's criminal activity.

    Blowdown's popularity had led to Patton's frequent appearances on local talk shows and on a few network offerings, such as Midday with Gemma, where the eponymous hostess Gemma Bright had just welcomed him to share a periwinkle--blue couch with her previous guest, Carrie Sands, a young vibrantly blond actress who was starring in a new motion picture filming in the city.

    When the applause of the primarily female audience began to subside, Patton plopped down on the couch. He leaned in close to the actress and whispered something in her ear that caused her smile to lose its perk. Then he turned his attention toward the show's hostess, adjusting his face in what he probably believed resembled a Gene Hackman--Popeye Doyle half--grin. "Okay, Gemma, I'm here," he said in his familiar, gruff voice. "So what d'ya wanna talk about today?"

    "Oh, I think you know, Pat." Gemma Bright's Australian accent was elaborate, slightly nasal, and made more distinctive by her odd habit of emphasizing words and syllables in a seemingly random fashion. This, combined with her fortysomething zaftig but stylish good looks, an extroverted personality, and an ability to convey what seemed like genuine interest, had positioned her as the second--most--popular television personality in the Second City. "We want some dish on that mysterious body that washed ashore yesterdye."

    "Dish, huh? Well, lemme tell ya, babe, it ain't all that appetizing."

    "Death rarely is," Gemma said.

    "That's probably why all those health--conscious wimps kept jogging past the body without stopping," Patton said. "Or could it be that they were just too caught up in their own petty little lives to wanna get involved?"

    "That's not fair," Carrie Sands chirped, evidently feeling he was talking about her people. "When you jog you get in the zone and you block out a lot of what's happening around you."

    "That explains why most of you bubbleheads voted for our illus-trious illegal--alien president. You were in the zone." Patton winked at the audience, which, surprisingly, rewarded him with scattered applause and laughter.

    "Holy shit, Billy," my assistant, Kiki Owens, said. "Who is this trog?"

    "You know as much about him as I do," I said, which was the truth at the time.

    "After the president's release of his full, authenticated birth certificate, this guy must be the last idiot spewing the birther crap. On our network!"

    "Oh that pesky...

About the Author-
  • Al Roker is known to more than thirty million viewers for his work on NBC's Today show, a role that has earned him ten Emmy awards. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Don't Make Me Stop This Car!: Adventures in Fatherhood and co-author (with Dick Lochte) of the Billy Blessing novels, The Morning Show Murders and The Midnight Show Murders. An accomplished cook, Roker also has two cookbooks to his credit. Al Roker lives in Manhattan with his wife, ABC News and 20/20 correspondent Deborah Roberts, and has two daughters and a son.

    Dick Lochte is the author of many popular crime novels, including the award-winning Sleeping Dog, named one of "the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century" by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. His crime fiction column ran for nearly a decade in the Los Angeles Times and earned him the 2003 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing. He lives in Southern California.

Reviews-
  • Carl Hiaasen "Great fun, full of nifty twists and turns."
  • Kirkus ReviewsThe Morning Show Murders "Roker and Lochte offer a satisfying entrée to follow the appetizer they provided in The Morning Show Murders."
  • James Patterson "This is a funny, funny, very funny mystery that really gallops along and has several cool twists."
  • Linda Fairstein "Dazzling . . . If you like your crime with a brilliant plot, crackling dialogue, a dash of celebrity and plenty of suspense, then The Morning Show Murders is an absolute must-read."
  • Chicago Sun-Times "Roker brings his A-game to the table when it comes to giving readers a birds-eye view into the behind-the-scenes action on a television show."
  • The Oklahoman "Action-packed, fast-paced, and fun to read."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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