THE ACTOR'S GUIDE TO MURDER
Baby, don't even go there!
That was Jarrod Jarvis's catch phrase as the adorable, girl-crazy moppet on the eighties sitcom, Go To Your Room! It was a great ride until the tabloids caught the popular teen idol kissing another guy at the L.A. gay rodeo. Gay and teen heartthrob not exactly being career-making words at the time, Jarrod's star crashed harder than a Kathie Lee Gifford CD.
Flash forward: Now happily living with his cop boyfriend, Charlie, and their dog, Snickers, in the Hollywood Hills, Jarrod's ready to hit the comeback trail—but he never imagines how fame will strike this time. At a reading with his psychic, Jarrod is disturbed to hear that someone close to him will be murdered and even more shocked when it turns out to be his best friend, Willard Ray Hornsby, also a former child star. When Willard is found face down in his own lap pool, the cops call it an accident, but Jarrod's far from convinced—and he's ready to play the Sherlock Holmes of West Hollywood to prove his conspiracy theory right.
But what starts in curiosity soon becomes deadly serious. Willard was keeping some very weighty secrets and even more dangerous company. From a tattooed body-work specialist to Willard's formidable mother and her nefarious lover, everyone seems to have had a reason to want him out of the picture permanently. And when another body turns up, it's clear that in a town full of actors, somebody's playing the very convincing part of a killer. Now, among the hustlers and the wannabes, the boy toys, sadistic acting coaches, and the tabloid press, Jarrod's high-profile sleuthing is making him once more into a household name. Except this kind of publicity is a very bad thing—because Jarrod's newest fan is someone who doesn't want an autograph...he wants him dead.
Fast, furious, and outrageously funny, Rick Copp's debut mystery introduces a gay sleuth with the panache of William Powell, the timing of Paul Rudnick, and an acid wit that turns Hollywood deliciously inside out.
THE ACTOR'S GUIDE TO MURDER
They say bad news comes in threes. Jarrod Jarvis is about to test that theory.
Bad news item #1. Former child actor (and constant comeback candidate) Jarrod Jarvis fails to convince the California parole board not to release Wendell Butterworth, the stalker who has followed him since his first Oscar Meyer commercial. #2. Jarrod's NBC pilot flatlines before it even hits the air. #3. His agent/best friend Laurette decides to marry gorgeous Juan Carlos Barranco, a soap actor more wooden than a Steven Seagal romantic comedy -- and shadier than Cher's plastic surgery denials. To quote the eighties catchphrase that made Jarrod famous: "Baby, don't even go there!" But things are about to get worse. During Laurette's drive-thru wedding at the Hearst Castle, one of the guests has a heated scene of his own with Juan Carlos--just before he crashes into the three-tier wedding cake, poisoned by a glass of champagne.
Much to the dismay of Charlie, his hunky LAPD boyfriend, Jarrod is convinced that Juan Carlos has something to do with the murder, and he's determined to get the goods on Laurette's new husband, even if it means trailing him to the set of his latest movie, a "high concept" horror film, and taking a (gasp!) supporting role. It isn't long before Juan Carlos exposes himself not as a murderer, but as a Viagra-fueled player who is simultaneously bedding his sexy, older leading lady, his young female co-star and a hot Latin man he meets on the QT at a local motel. Talk about the role of a lifetime. Soon, the question is no longer, "Who is Laurette's new husband sleeping with?" but "Who isn't he sleeping with?" Juan Carlos seems to be a man of many secret alliances, including a connection to an embittered tabloid reporter and a ruthless Miami crime boss who's already made more than one person disappear. But why would a big-time crime czar be so interested in the affairs of a really bad soap actor? What other secrets is Juan Carlos keeping? And did Jarrod really agree to do a movie for scale?
Now, trapped in surreal South Florida, home of early bird specials, low-budget movies, neon thongs, and, God forbid, his own parents, Jarrod is living out his worst nightmare, keeping one eye on his best friend's cheating husband, fighting his own attraction to a butch P.I., playing opposite a child star who makes Linda Blair's "Exorcist" turn seem charming, and running from the mob. But while Jarrod has been channeling his inner MacGyver, following Juan Carlos' every salacious move, someone else has been tailing Jarrod. Someone who thinks he knows too much for his own good. Someone with the power to turn a cheesy slasher movie into cinema verite... and give Jarrod his final screen credit.
Like the wacky love child of Carl Hiassen and John Waters, Rick Copp's THE ACTOR'S GUIDE TO ADULTERY is another outrageous, wickedly funny, very sexy mystery featuring the caustic Jarrod Jarvis, who never met a part he didn't want to take, even if it might get him killed.
THE ACTOR'S GUIDE TO GREED
Getting butchered at the hands of a serial killer in the "high concept" slasher film, Creeps, was supposed to revive former child star Jarrod Jarvis's career. Instead, it's a celluloid Titanic that makes Patty Duke's turn in Valley of the Dolls look like Swedish art house restraint. While nursing his wounds at the post-premiere party at a Starbucks on Beverly Boulevard, Jarrod runs into Wallace Goodwin, one of the former writers on Go to Your Room, the beloved eighties show that made Jarrod a star. He's shocked to discover that the neurotic, egotistical Wallace, whose biggest claim to fame was penning a very special episode of a Marla Gibbs sitcom and marrying leggy sexpot Katrina, has penned a play bound for London's West End, with a scene-stealing part for Jarrod. Like they say, when God closes a door, somewhere, he opens a window seat in coach.
Faster than you can say his catchphrase, "Baby, don't even go there!" Jarrod's hitting the boards in London… and the boards are hitting back, big time. As much as the actors all seem to loathe one another, they truly resent Jarrod. The hotshot young director with a thing for girls named Kate berates him at every turn. British legend Dame Sylvia Horner is so sloshed she can barely read her lines. Bollywood beefcake Akshay Kapoor's one facial expression seems to be handsome glowering - when he isn't making eyes at Jarrod's hunky LAPD boyfriend, Charlie. And since coming out has made him hot again, Sir Anthony Stiles wastes no time "tutoring" every young actor in a twelve-mile radius. Jarrod's only friend in the cast is the formidable Claire Richards. The sexy, forty-something, champagne-swilling, Oscar-winning actress is the undisputed star of the show - a lady who can chew scenery and her co-stars with equal abandon. No one can play a death scene like La Claire. Except that this time the diva isn't faking it. She's been poisoned, and the last person to see her alive was Jarrod himself. Suddenly, Jarrod's gone from begging for a small role as a lab assistant on Crossing Jordan to being accused of murdering a shining star of the West End theatre scene and stealing her Oscar from her dressing room.
It's the juiciest scandal to hit London since Prince Harry got caught smoking pot, and Jarrod has no intention of clicking his heels three times while repeating, "There's no such thing as bad publicity." He's going to find out who murdered Claire, clear his own name, and head back to the insanity he knows and trusts in Los Angeles. What soon becomes obvious is that there was more backstage drama going on than anything happening on stage—affairs, lies, secrets, betrayals, blackmail, and a desperate clawing for fame and fortune that makes anything on reality TV look like a kids' show.
Outrageous, wild, and absolutely fabulous, Rick Copp's The Actor's Guide to Greed skewers everything in its path and serves it up with mango chutney—proof positive that when the tart-tongued Jarrod Jarvis is on the case, the buzz is very, very good.
FINGERPRINTS & FACELIFTS
Once upon a time there were three very different little girls who ran a private detective agency. Claire was the soft-spoken, elegant one. Tess, the sexy, wild, free spirit. And Dani was sharp, focused, a true leader. Together they posed as flight attendants, beauty contestants, circus performers, and pro-soccer players. They never blew a case, never lost their man, and they accessorized very well. Then, one day, they closed it down and went off to lead three very different lives.
FLASH FORWARD: TWENTY-FIVE YEARS LATER.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.
Tess Monahan and Dani Mendez have gathered at the home of their former partner, Claire Walker-Corley for the marriage of Claire's son. Tess is her usual sexual live-wire self with a Brazilian boy-toy in tow. Dani has just been unceremoniously passed over as Chief of the San Francisco PD where the young cops dare to call her "Mom." And Claire has become a loyal suburban wife and mother who stores all traces of her former life in her basement. But with all of their differences and old grudges in tact, they still have a tight bond, especially when it comes to getting the job done. And when someone starts targeting their children, it's time for them to join forces once again.
Someone from the past is out to make them pay at last. With the lives of their kids on the line, it's time for the L.A. Dolls to come out of retirement and work together like old times. But old times ain't what they used to be. It involves a lot of ice packs, thugs calling you "ma'am," catching up with villains who now use Viagra, and not having a snowball's chance in hell of posing as a high-priced call girl. Still, with age comes wisdom, baby. They may be older, but like fine wine, they've only gotten better. And they use every bit of their hard-earned life lessons to get what they need to protect their kids.
Getting back into their old bikinis may be impossible, but getting back into their old lives is absolutely exhilarating. The ladies can't deny they're having a ball doing what they do best. But someone else is enjoying being back in the game, too. Someone who has plotted revenge for twenty-five years and who will stop at absolutely nothing to see that dish served cold. And if Dani, Claire and Tess aren't careful, their first case back could be their last.
The always entertaining Rick Copp introduces a delicious romp of a new series with three irresistible heroines of a certain age who prove you're never too old to kick butt, take names, and look good doing it.