Meet Charlie and Jack Fairfax
in the madcap mysteries
Speak Now
and How To Succeed in Murder.

"A modern day Nick and Nora Charles...head an engaging cast in this witty, suspenseful first adventure -- may there be many more!"
-- Donna Andrews

"Short-listed for Britain's C.W.A. 2003 Debut Dagger Award, Dumas's sparkling debut should appeal to both cozy and chick-lit fans. ..."
-- Publisher's Weekly

"Comic cozy meets crazed spy thriller."
-- Booklist

"The mix of romance and suspense [is] just right."
--Romantic Times

Charley Van Leeuwen can tell by a man's kiss whether he's been drinking Taittinger or Veuve Clicquot. Not that she kisses many men. In fact, she's been so completely indifferent to finding a relationship that her friends have declared her love life a lost cause.

So imagine their surprise when she comes home to San Francisco with her new husband. Jack Fairfax is the definition of tall, dark, and handsome. He's also a man with a past, and Charley soon learns that past is not exactly what he says it's been. Is he the mild-mannered meteorologist he claims to be? If so, you'd think he'd be able to say something about a cloud besides "it looks like a pony."

And what about the murdered woman Charley found in her bathtub on her first night back in town? Does Jack know more than he's telling her? Like who the victim was? And where the hell she left her clothes?

All these questions distract Charley from what she thought she'd be doing--finding a house she and Jack can live in, keeping her best friend from being seduced by her uncle's patented bad-boy charm, and rescuing her non-profit repertory theater from artistic and financial ruin.

It will take all Charley's friends as well as all her talents to figure things out. Luckily, she can rely on Eileen, a financial manager who's so hyper-organized she thinks alphabetizing is a hobby, Brenda, a big-hearted professor of Woman's Studies who seems to be developing an embarrassing appreciation for high heels, and Simon, who runs her theater with a martini in one hand and a script in the other.

With this gang Charley and Jack can handle anything--kidnappings, murders, bitter ex-boyfriends, out-of-control relatives, and vicious former spies--all while staging a play, starting a business, and getting to the heart of this whole marriage thing.

Charley Fairfax--heiress, theatrical producer, newlywed--has every intention of living happily ever after with her tall, dark, and sarcastic husband Jack. The only mysteries she faces are which play to choose for next season and how to decorate her dining room.

But when Jack is hired to investigate a suspicious death at a San Francisco software company, it quickly becomes clear that high-tech has some lowlife elements. The only way Charley knows how to help Jack involves doing something nobody thought she would ever do.

Charley needs to get a job.

It might be a problem that Charley and her band of irregulars from the repertory theater learned everything they know about the workplace from a production of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying , but that doesn't stop them from going undercover to find a killer. And even though she's only had one day's training in corporate double-speak, Charley isn't worried. Faking it has always been her strong suit.

Charley and Jack are starting to get the hang of this marriage thing. If only people would stop talking about babies, introducing them to decorators, and trying to kill them, they might even get to take a honeymoon.