Book Project



A California mystery.

A beautiful young girl dies in an upscale hotel. The police write it off as suicide—her mother says it’s murder.

And no one will listen. No one, except best friends Kate Buchanan and Holly Phillips.

The dead girl is Valentina Hernandez, the daughter of Holly’s cleaning lady Mercedes. Mercedes is someone Kate knows. And someone Holly deeply cares about.

Kate was born poor, on the bench-seat of a Chevy truck. She’s divorced and single, has a smart mouth, a weakness for great-looking shoes, and a taste for Jack Daniel’s. She is a writing teacher, a transplant from East Texas, with redneck roots. She hates it when people get away with stuff they have no business getting away with.

Holly was born in a private suite, in a hospital named for her great-grandfather. She’s a wife and mother, with a medical degree and an incredible amount of heart and courage. Holly’s a California girl. A stay-at-home mom. She’s always been into paying it forward, in any way she can. This time, Holly is paying it forward by hooking up with Kate and getting justice for Valentina Hernandez: a girl who lived in a very modest zip-code, and died in a very pricey one.

Believing that the police in the wealthy town where Valentina died didn’t pay close attention to her death because she was nobody special, and determined not to let someone get away with murder, Kate and Holly decide to track down Valentina’s cold-blooded killer. It’s a decision that catapults them into a treacherous world of cover-ups and lies. A surprising, unpredictable world that includes: Seedy beer bars. A vicious loan shark in a glittering, glass house. Hot yoga classes. A little girl who talks in nursery rhymes. A mysterious black Escalade. A one-of-a-kind red purse. And a heart-stopping death threat.

By the time it’s over and the killer is caught, the word is out: writing teacher Kate Buchanan and stay-at-home mom Holly Phillips are a newly-minted, investigative powerhouse.

First, there was Kinsey Milhone. Then, Rizzoli and Isles. Now, meet the investigating team of Buchanan & Phillips. They get it done in a whole new, twenty-first century way. No guns. No badges. Just the brains they were born with and (thanks to a very interesting source) a kick-ass supply of cutting-edge technology.


Both sets of balcony doors were open. The ones facing the ocean framed a peaceful sea of midnight black, letting in a breeze that was light and cool. The other ones, facing the mountains, showcased roaring flames, spiraling ash and a sky the color of blood.

The noose tightened as he slid her over the railing, preparing to hang her from the balcony overlooking the ocean.

Just before he did it, he put his mouth close to her ear, his voice resonant and purring. “Listen, um…” She was breathtakingly beautiful. He knew she had a name, but couldn’t remember what it was. So he simply said: “I’m sorry. This isn’t what I came here to do.”

Then he let her drop. As the rope jerked and went tight he thought he heard a little snapping sound come from her neck, the way he imagined it might, a few minutes ago, when he’d tied the other end of the rope to the foot of the heavy mahogany bed.

The breeze wafting through the open balcony doors prickled him with goosebumps, reminding him he needed to get moving. He stripped off the latex gloves and stuffed them into his jacket pocket. He was in his favorite tux. He also had on a brand-new, two-thousand-dollar, custom made mask.

And with the exception of his eyes and mouth, his face was covered in layers of glistening black feathers.

For more information about this project, contact Dianne.