Scarlett Martin’s zany life gets, if possible, zanier in this second installment of the series. Her family’s struggling Manhattan hotel got a boost from the production of Hamlet it staged in Suite Scarlett (rev. 7/08), but now business is back to normal, leaving Scarlett to deal with the angst of a failed summer relationship and the insanity of her new boss, theatrical agent Amy Amberson. Her older brother, an aspiring actor, gets his first big break (but at what cost?); her older sister Lola has an identity crisis; and her younger sister, diabolically bad-tempered cancer survivor Marlene, is being worryingly…nice. Add Mrs. Amberson’s new client, a victim of stage-mothering, and said client’s irascible-yet-intriguing brother to the mix, and the hijinks reach a new high. Johnson skillfully balances the camp with warm family drama. In immediate, deadpan, to-the-point prose, she takes aim at the dark side of show business while continuing to develop the larger-than-life characters that are the heart of this series. The ending provides little actual resolution, especially to Scarlett’s romantic travails, but the process of getting there is so much fun that readers will likely just look forward even more to book three.
Gee, it certainly seems as if everyone is eagerly awaiting Book Three, huh?
Speaking of eagerly awaiting, I know I promised winners for my Pub Day contest today, but I decided to extend the contest by a WHOLE WEEK, to give you even more time to enter. Winner will be chosen next Wednesday, February 10th. Feel free to enter more than once!