Wow. I haven't been so impressed with a procedural novel in years. Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series was getting very boring, and everything else seems to be just rehashing of the same tired old plots - so it's a welcome change to see this great debut novel from Ms. Fairstein, and it's also good news to note that she plans more novels with her heroine, Alexandra Cooper. Everything about this book is great - Cooper herself, her relationship with both detectives Mercer Wallace and Mike Chapman (I found myself hoping that Cooper & Chapman would get together, but no such luck), and especially her descriptions of the way things work in the Sex Crimes Unit, which sounded exactly right. The title is a reference to Cooper & Chapman's passion for the game show with Alex Trebek, which is really obscure in the greater scheme of the novel - but that's a minor nit, really. More of a problem was the character of Jed Segal, who I found very unbelievable, especially his high-falutin' style of speech (do people REALLY talk like that?). The resolution of the case - who really killed Cooper's movie star friend - is a bit out of left field, although as several characters in the book point out, the resolutions of a lot of police cases are found due to nothing but pure luck - so that took the edge off of the unbelievability for me. My only other complaint, Ms. Fairstein? I've never seen Alfred Hitchcock's "Notorious". I know it's a classic, but please don't go spoiling the endings of any other movies for me - let me find out on my own!
The plot was too easy here. The author generally writes well, but her style could be improved. I was entertained, but not to the point where I would consider the author a good crime novelist. I would not recommend this book, because there are too many other fiction-crime novels that are more enjoyable reads.
I finished up Patricia Cornwall's series and then moved on to Linda Fairstein. It was a perfect transition! The witty dialog between Cooper and Chapman is top-notch, and anyone who is a fan of the well-known TV show can immediately dive right on in. It is my only hope that Linda Fairstein will continue to write more!