When famous designer vitamin queen Gillian Rose is found dead in her office, Maxi Poole rushes to the scene. The sexy veteran TV news anchor has barely recovered from her brush with death in The Reporter. Maxi uses her brains and fame to gain access to the secured offices in the Rose building. She gets a long look at the body of Gillian Rose before being pushed aside by the authorities.
Gillian's death appears to be natural, but Maxi isn't too sure. Carter Rose was overseas when his wife died, but his behavior and that of his assistant/mistress are suspicious. Another attempted murder within the Rose organization heightens fears and speculation.
Maxi uses her experience and notoriety to investigate the crimes in her off hours. Gillian had big plans outside of her vitamin empire. Those ideas may have been the cause of her demise.
The Dead File is where potentially important videotapes that can't be aired are stored. In this case, Maxi has footage of Gillian's body sprawled on her office floor. It can't be shown on the air, but the tape may solve a possible murder.
Drawing on her extensive television reporting experience, Lange brings validity to her Poole character. The behind the scenes peek at the newsroom is entertaining. Several of the characters are based on actual members of Lange's former KNBC news staff.
The author takes some legal liberties with police procedures. Maxi's investigative reporting solves the crime. Detectives play a minimal part in the process and don't seem to mind that Maxi airs sensitive interviews.
Dead File is a light fun mystery. There are plenty of suspects, each with enough motive maintain the suspense level. The Los Angeles television station makes a great backdrop. Lange pulls off a satisfying read thanks to her many years behind the news desk.
P.S. If you grew up watching Ms. Lange on Channel 4 (like me!), you may have a hard time separating the real Kelly from the fictitious Maxi and the real Doug Kriegel from the imaginary one.