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Sign another contract—this one with two hit men, who are hired to knock off Isaly.

What Mackensie doesn't know is that Candy and Karl are killers with scruples and a keen interest in literature. Isaly, meanwhile, is totally engrossed in finishing his current novel and barely notices the two men as they mingle with Isaly and his friends at popular New York City literary watering holes. Not even when a multitude of bumblers follow him on a visit to his hometown of Pittsburgh—in one of the most humorous episodes in the book—does he realize his plight.

Although verging on the caricaturish, the characters are memorable, especially the hit-men duo.

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Insider publishing lingo, a quirky plot, atmospheric settings and Grimes's dry sense of humor make this a delectable bonbon of a book. Come on.

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Molly sighed. Hannah produced another chapter of her book. She would ask him to read it before officially including it in the book. It was a grave request. This was chapter Now she was seven and even more determined to be nominated for an award. Also, he pointed out to her that the gardens were oddly bereft of flowers. Why were there no flowers? That had given her pause for a moment. But only a moment. And there seemed to be a lot of dragons lately in this book, hunted by a curious person, the Dragonnier. Now, all of this potential slaying was causing her anxiety.

More than once she had probed her father about this, whether he ever thought of writing a book about dragons. Solemnly, Hannah waited while Paul read the chapter.


All the chapters were short. Even though this was chapter 99, the book itself was still only eighty-some pages long. She vanished from the doorway. He sighed and with one finger coaxed a book forward. Another best-seller, another two plus mil. Despite the fact that its protagonist was not the mild-mannered, brilliant detective Paul had used before, and despite there being no murder, no gunplay, the book would still be stashed with the mysteries or thrillers.

He studied the jacket.

The publisher he really was dying to choose was Mackenzie-Haack because of its snob appeal unwarranted and its venal, underhanded president, Bobby Mackenzie. Also, Saul Prouil was rich; family money, certainly not from royalties. Back to his other two writers: Breedlove and Isaly. Paul did not go to publication parties, but he did to this one, following the inception of his little plan.

Barbara Breedlove was a good writer, though not as good as she thought she was. She was also too full of herself, too much a networking writer, too much a summer conference person, turning up at Bread Loaf or one of the others, too much a scene player and much too much a snob about genre fiction. She was the one up in the air. But not nearly the power of Paul Giverney. Paul knew that Isaly was a much better writer than he himself, but the quality of writing had little to do with the plan.

What Paul needed was hard to find: a pure writer. Ned frowned slightly at the question, as if he really had to dredge up the answer. Ned smiled. But you must have someone to intercede, somebody who yells when they want to print your book backward or make it a pop-up. Things like that.

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Christ, he thought, just try that today. During a long night reminiscing in a remote French Chateau she resolves to throw out all this Foul Matter — like the old proofs of a finished book. Awardwinning author Joan Aiken touches upon love and death with a thoughtfulness and courage that makes Foul Matter a romantic suspense novel like no other.

Read more Read less. Clytie is truthful and inquiring, and determined to have a good time — and you will too when you read her story Source: West Sussex Gazette About the Author Joan Aiken was born in Rye, Sussex in , daughter of the American poet Conrad Aiken, and started writing herself at the age of five. To get the free app, enter mobile phone number. See all free Kindle reading apps.

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Write a product review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. I was completely disappointed in this book. The book pretends to be a thriller. However, the plot consists of a woman in her thirties describing her lost dead loves who were for the most part her best friends husbands. These were carried on simultaneously and with the friends' knowledge.