St. Martin’s, Feb 2009, $24.95
London-based literary agent Tess Drake takes no prisoners at work, in romances, or even with family and friends. She does not care what anyone thinks of her except her boss at Bartwright, an international multimedia giant.
When senior partner Lowell Bartwright dies mysteriously during a tryst, Cosima Tate is named to replace him. Cosima hates Tess for a various reasons especially since she suspects the agent who sleeps around is including her husband in her affairs. Knowing the she must leave, Tess considers opening up her own firm starting with her top client bestselling children’s author Dorothy Starkwell whose panda star is accused of being plagiarized. She also knows someone is trying to frame her in Lionel’s death. With her life at stake on two fronts, her only hope to survive apparently is underselling Oliver Howard whose first novel is being considered for a Cruise movie.
Although the tale of urban depravity has been used quite frequently, THE AGENCY is an entertaining story starring a ball busting (women too) man-eater who acknowledges her errors, but the audience never learns what motivates her behavior. In many ways Cosima is similar to Tess so their cat fight is a war of female alphas in which collateral damage to other people is acceptable by both of them. Neither receives the slightest empathy from readers who will dislike both. Still fans will enjoy Tess’ misdeeds in London.