by Jane Heller

March 2001
ISBN: 0-312-97833-2
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

Jane Heller is wickedly witty as Nancy Stern in Name Dropping. The book is written in first person and Nancy Stern's view of her world provides readers with an inside look of a single, middle-class woman in her late-thirties living in Manhattan.

Nancy Stern couldn't believe the invitations and phone calls she was receiving; her mail was beginning to consist of invites to gala events and film screenings and a thank you note from Kevin Costner; deliveries of long-stemmed roses; phone calls begging for her company. Until Nancy discovers that there's another Nancy Stern who just moved into a penthouse apartment in her building - a journalist who interviews celebrities and leads the glamorous New York jet setter life. All these mix ups, interesting at first, were beginning to bother Nancy - after all, she ends up tipping the delivery people, taking down messages like a secretary and being referred to as the "wrong Nancy Stern", which was enough to bring out all the pent-up insecurities that any normal woman might have (which she suspects the other Nancy Stern lacks!). In a fit of anger or depression (or both!), she pretended to be the glamorous Nancy Stern and got a hunky blind date in the midst of a wrong number call. The story proceeds to be a mixture of mystery and romance involving mistaken identities, thievery and murder.

First person writing presents a rather limited point of view, as the story doesn't much get out of Nancy Stern's world. But that's just fine - Nancy is intelligent and sweet, a bit of a push-over, which in some heroines would be an annoying trait, but since Nancy is a preschool teacher, it's almost understandable that she has a moderate temperament. But she's sharp as a tack, armed with funny quips and one-liners that make this book a sidesplitting fun read. As far as the romance goes, well, seeing it through Nancy's viewpoint limits the reader to finding out her beau's real feelings but that's part of the allure. Does he or does he not love her? And what does he do for a living really?

Jane Heller takes readers for a wild ride through Nancy Stern's relationships and career with a murder mystery mixed in - with all that going on, this book won't fail you in the least!

Reviewed in October 2001 by Veronica.

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