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The Morning Show Murders

Cover of The Morning Show Murders

The Morning Show Murders

by Al Roker
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Nobody can dish morning TV like Al Roker, who's seen every side of a business that looks good on camera--even when sharks are circling inside the gleaming glass Manhattan media headquarters. Treachery...More
Nobody can dish morning TV like Al Roker, who's seen every side of a business that looks good on camera--even when sharks are circling inside the gleaming glass Manhattan media headquarters. Treachery...More
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Description-
  • Nobody can dish morning TV like Al Roker, who's seen every side of a business that looks good on camera--even when sharks are circling inside the gleaming glass Manhattan media headquarters. Treachery abounds in Roker's riotously thrilling debut novel--at once an ingenious murder mystery and a delicious behind-the-scenes look at network TV. As fact and fiction collide and the backbiting ignites, The Morning Show Murders will make you wonder: How much of this stuff is real?

    Network TV can be murder. Just ask Billy Blessing, famous for his smile, charm, and ability to survive the shark tank that is high-stakes morning TV. But though Billy has outlived his fair share of prima-donnas, his cooking segment on Wake Up America! is a staple of the American diet, and his Manhattan bistro is a mega-success, his career has just taken a very dangerous turn: His show's perky cohost, Gin McCauley, has launched into some brass-knuckles contract negotiations. A visiting Mossad agent is about to tell all on the air. And then the network's head honcho is murdered in his luxury apartment, and an ambitious D.A. decides that Billy is to blame.

    Forensics show that Gerry Gallagher was poisoned and that the fatal coq au vin came from Billy's restaurant. Gerry had an impressive list of women in his black book--and a news assignment in Afghanistan had plunged the TV exec into the heart of a violent international secret. Now unsavory characters are coming out of the woodwork, and another murder strikes the show's inner circle. Billy knows that someone's trying to frame him. He also knows that a ruthless international assassin has just arrived in New York City. And suddenly, for the most trusted guy on TV the ultimate career move is not about ratings. It's about staying alive--and stopping the next murder from becoming tomorrow's breaking news.


    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Chapter One


    The big guy lumbered toward me, waving the cleaver. Weeping like a baby.

    "Take it easy, buddy," I said. "No harm done."

    "I d-d-didn't mean to do it. I swear to God I didn't."

    "I hope not," I said, looking at the mangled, bloody mess he'd caused. "Why don't you give me that cleaver before you make this any worse?"

    "I'm a screwup," the big guy said. He was close enough for me to read the little name tag on his white coat. Eldon Something with Too Many Consonants.

    "We all have bad days, Eldon," I told him. "Just hand me the cleaver."

    He hesitated, then handed over the knife. He made a loud sniff to clear his sinuses, then used the sleeve of his white jacket to wipe the moisture from his eyes and the sweat from the rest of his face.

    I was sweating, too. It could have been the heat from the television lights. Or the steamers. Or Eldon's incompetence with the cleaver. Probably all three.

    "I'm sorry, chief," Eldon mumbled.

    "Chef," I corrected him.

    "Oh, right. Chef."

    Actually, it's Chef Billy Blessing. If you recognize the name, and I sincerely hope you do, you'll understand that I don't engage in a whole lot of on-the-job chef-ing these days, though I do run a popular restaurant on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, Blessing's Bistro. (A New York magazine pick. Tops in food and service per Zagat, thank you very much.) I have a line of savory prepared meals (which you can find in the frozen-food sections of the better supermarkets). And there's a series of cookbooks (the latest of which, Blessing's Best: Brunches, just went into a second printing, a New York Times Bestseller). But people usually know me because I'm on TV. My own show, Blessing's in the Kitchen, appears on the Wine & Dine Cable Network, Thursdays at four p.m. EST, and, for reasons I've never understood, repeated at two a.m. on Saturdays. I guess if you come home drunk, the first thing you want to do is turn on the forty-two-inch LCD and watch me cook. And, crucial to the whole Blessing mini-empire, I'm a regular on Wake Up, America!, the morning news show airing weekdays on the Worldwide Broadcasting Company. I'm the guy with the food features, interviews, and the joke of the day. Viewers tell me I remind them of a stocky Eddie Murphy, minus the mustache, the honking laugh, and the leather pants. I prefer to think of myself as a more accessible, less intense version of Denzel Washington. They also assume, because our producer, Arnie Epps, has instructed me to keep a smile on my face whenever I'm on camera, that I'm always cheery. I'm not. At the particular moment I am describing, in the midst of a disastrous trial run for a new Wine & Dine series, I was one hundred and eighty degrees from cheery.

    I turned to survey the other nine inhabitants of the soundstage kitchen. They, like Eldon, were dressed in chef coats, with most of their hair tucked under white caps. Also like Eldon, they were all very young, the exception being a beady-eyed fortysomething gent who had the appearance and the odor of a greasy-spoon fry cook.

    They'd separated themselves by gender. A male with acne was staring at me with the goofy adoration of a dependent dog. Another was nervously rubbing a mustache that looked like anchovies attacking his upper lip. I spied a brown Mohawk partially tucked under a cap, the oily bottom spikes sticking out over the collar of his coat like the tail of a dirty bird. Yuchhh!

    One of the very young women--girls, actually--chomped on gum. A pretty brown-skinned sister who might qualify as a supermodel trainee seemed more...

Reviews-
  • James Patterson


    "This is a funny, funny, very funny mystery that really gallops along and has several cool twists. Maybe Al Roker should quit his day job."

  • 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."
  • Janet Evanovich "Terrific plot, fast, funny, and full of action and adventure with even a touch of steamy romance."
  • New York Post "Required reading."
  • Harlan Coben "Great fun! Al pulls back the curtain to reveal what really goes on when the cameras go off."
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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