by Daphne Uviller
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In this off-the-beaten-sidewalk debut, native New Yorker Daphne Uviller reveals the secrets of a sexy, story-filled Big Apple, where a mystery lurks behind every apartment door—and a savvy but slightly lost young woman unexpectedly finds herself holding the keys.
In a city brimming with opportunities for heroism, twenty-seven-year-old Zephyr Zuckerman has often fantasized about committing acts of bravery that would make front-page news. Now she may get her big break—though it may require plunging a few toilets. When the superintendent of her parents’ Greenwich Village brownstone is led away in handcuffs, unemployed Zephyr takes over his post and unleashes her inner sleuth: discovering titillating secrets about her tenants—from a smoky-voiced Frenchwoman who entertains throngs of unsavory visitors to a moody musician who just has to be hiding something—and realizing that her new reality is far more intriguing than her imagination.
Soon Zephyr has sussed out wrongs that stretch from losers on the Internet to art fraud and an international crime ring. The mob thinks she’s in the FBI, and the FBI thinks she’s in the mob—a predicament she needs to clear up fast. But perhaps not before the cute, surly exterminator helps her solve the mystery of what to do with the rest of her life...
I really enjoyed this book, but not as much as Hotel No Tell. Although since I read that first, I kept trying to figure out how everyone got to where they were in Hotel No Tell. This book takes place a good 3 years before...and Zephyr is in the middle of trying to figure out what to do with her life.
I have less patience with her in this book as she is 27 yrs old, dropped out of medical school, never actually got to the law school and since then has been getting whatever spending cash she can from tutoring snobby rich kids.
The super in her parents apartment complex is arrested and her parents tell her she will be the new super since she has nothing else going on and she can keep the money from whatever she rents the James' apartment for. And yes she sees dollar signs when someone offers her $4,000 a month.
She also falls in love with the Jewish exterminator...the joke being no one thinks he looks like an exterminator. The passion there is amazing. There are also a ton of misunderstandings, but her parents adore him and he has a groundedness about him that she realizes she needs.
We also meet all the Sterling Girls, what she calls her 4 best friends from high school. Mercedes plays the viola in an orchestra, Abigail has moved to CA as a linguist professor, Lucy is a social worker with a little case of OCD and a heart of gold, and finally there's Tag, a biologist who studies parasites. Notice each friend has their career sorted out, but they are all on the same page for romance...as in it's lacking.
The story was pretty fast paced, I read it in a couple of days. Even with my being distracted I couldn't put it down. There are a bunch of twists and turns, and even though Zephyr does annoy me at times with whining...I adore her and her choices. She has a great imagination that never ceased to entertain.