Allayne Witt was the "local girl made good" of Ash Lake, Florida. One of daytime's most popular stars, Allayne wins further admiration for her fight with breast cancer, and high school friends Ronnie Lord and sister Gina are happy to assist with her needs, despite the chaos involved in preparing for Lorena Alger's canonization.
When Allayne unexpectedly dies, however, her mother Lorraine is convinced a murder got to the star before the cancer did. She thinks Ronnie is the perfect person to solve a crime, but does one really exist? Can Ronnie resist the pull of "Hurricane Lorraine," the ultimate stage mother, while also keeping her sanity among quarreling boyfriends, her grandmother's clandestine love affair, and the romantic advances of the boy who helped steal Lorena's body months before?
Who needs Allayne's soap, when real life is much more interesting?
Ronnie and Gina approached to guide the woman back to bed. "Mrs. Witz, whatever you have to say or do can wait for another day," Ronnie said. "What's important now is that you rest."
"No." Lorraine's voice took on its normal tone. "No, this is important right now. I need your help."
"I told Allayne's agent that I'd be happy to do anything to help with the funeral services, but he said"
"I don't give a damn about that right now, Veronica. I want to you help me nail the creep who killed my Laney."
"What?" Ronnie flopped on the bed as Lorraine brushed past Gina to her highboy dresser. Had Allayne had been right all along? Why was Lew reluctant to pursue a case, though?
"But Allayne died in her sleep, right?" She looked to her sister, who only gave her a look that said Just wait.
Ronnie's eyes caught a shining object nestled in a shallow dish sitting atop the highboy. As Lorraine retrieved it and brought it closer, Ronnie saw it was a half-eaten cookie wrapped in plastic wrap. Unbidden, Ronnie held out her palm and stared at the object, turning it in her hand.
"This is a chocolate-covered Oreo cookie," Ronnie said dully.
"I found that next to Laney's bed when I went into her room to wake her up for E! News Daily. There was supposed to be a news item about her tonight that she wanted to watch" Lorraine's voice broke.
"Why are you giving me this?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Lorraine gestured wildly to the cookie. "That's what killed her. That cookie is poisoned, I just know it!"