Starred Review: Box Office Poison by Phillipa Bornikova
Here’s the full review, from the June 15th issue:
Second in the series (This Case is Gonna Kill Me, 2012) about New York lawyer Linnet Ellery and the vampire law firm she works for, set in a world dominated by the Powers—vampires, werewolves and Álfar (elves)—who revealed themselves less than half a century ago.
Last time out, Linnet found herself battling werewolves. This time, exquisitely beautiful Álfar are snaffling all the plum roles in Hollywood, much to the chagrin of human actors, who, naturally, bring a lawsuit against the studios and networks. Since Álfar charm fails to translate to the screen, the humans insist that they’re using magic to get the parts. Nobody in the Screen Actors Guild wants the dispute in the public domain, so Linnet and her vampire boss, David Sullivan, must fly to California and serve as arbitrators. Complications ensue when Human First agitators make themselves annoyingly obtrusive; and an Álfar actor who slaughtered his beloved human wife now claims to have no memory of the event. Still, the old, influential Álfar observer, Qwendar, seems helpful enough. But when handsome actor-turned-director Jeff Montolbano invites Linnet to the set of his latest movie, his lead actress, an Álfar, bursts in and, sporting enough weapons to stock a small arsenal, starts shooting the place up. Why? What’s really going on? Does Linnet have a secret protector or hidden talents? Bornikova accurately depicts Hollywood with warmth and wit, her puzzles will keep readers guessing until the end, and she tops it off with a smart, sassy heroine willing to poke and prod those more powerful than she.
Refreshingly different, intriguing and involving: A sequel that’s even better than the splendid opener.
Box Office Poison will be published on August 6th.
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