Dying to Get Published by Judy Fitzwater - Jennifer is having trouble getting her book published, and blames it on evil literary agent Penney, so what could be more logical than murdering Penney and using that as the plot for a book. WHAT? This premise seemed distasteful, though it was done tongue in cheek. As Jennifer solicits opinions from her writing group on the best way to carry out the hypothetical crime, things happen which I won't spoil. I dunno, it didn't sit right with me.
The Appeal by John Grisham - Nasty corporate polluters, struggling lawyers, corrupt judges in the Deep South. Yup, typical Grisham. I liked this one less than usual.
Hollywood Confessions by Gemma Halliday - Allie is an LA tabloid reporter yearning to work for a more legitimate outlet. She rubs elbows with dubious reality show characters, sleazy Hollywood types, and quirky coworkers investigating the murder of a producer. One hysterical scene had her sneaking into a salon, pretending to work there, and doing a bikini wax on an unsuspecting source. This is part of a series, and I'll have to check out some more.
Compliments of a Friend by Susan Isaacs - "That's it?" I thought when I finished this. Granted, it was a short story (given to me by NetGalley), but it seemed unsatisfying. The fashionable Vanessa kills herself, or is it murder? Judith Singer (from Compromising Positions) plays detective. The Afterword explained that this story was written for a writer's group and was the basis for the novel Long Time No See (which I own, but haven't read). So I'll hope that the return of Judith is more substantial in the full book.