Think breaking into show business is hard? Try landing a temp job without office skills. That's the challenge facing aspiring actress Isobel Spice when she arrives in New York City, fresh out of college and deficient in PowerPoint. After being rejected by seven temp agencies for her lack of experience, Isobel sweet-talks recruiter James Cooke into letting her cover a last-minute vacancy at a bank. New to his own job, and recently sober, James takes a chance on Isobel, despite his suspicion that she's a trouble-magnet. His misgivings are borne out by lunchtime, when she stumbles across a dead secretary in a bathroom stall. With her fingerprints on the murder weapon, Isobel sets out to prove her innocence by investigating the crime herself. While learning to juggle phone lines and auditions, she discovers an untapped talent for detective work--a qualification few other office temps, let alone actresses, can claim.
A Look Into The Life of Isobel Spice
It’s a Helluva Town!By Joanne Sydney Lessner as told by Isobel SpiceI moved to New York ready to claw my way into auditions, but I never expected having to fight to get a temp job! I mean, that’s what every actor does when they move to New York, right? That or wait tables (and oh, boy, you do not want me doing that—I once dropped five boiled lobsters on a nun.) But how come everyone else seems to just waltz out of college right into a temp job? If James Cooke at Temp Zone hadn’t taken a chance on me, I don’t know what I’d have done. Then again, before lunch on the first day of my first job, I found a dead secretary in the bathroom. I hate when that happens! But in the end, it wound up being pretty exciting, especially when I unmasked the murderer before the police could figure it out. Given how condescending they were, I rather enjoyed that.After that, I had a few uneventful temp jobs, but then I landed this one, at Dove & Flight Public Relations, where my friend Katrina from college works. It was all going swimmingly until a client dropped dead over a cup of coffee I had just served him! (Yeah, hate when that happens!) And then it turned out that James knew the guy who died. He gets a little weird whenever I ask about him. So does Katrina, for that matter. I think there’s something she’s not telling me. Actually, there’s a lot going on at this office with the company about to be taken over by some international conglomerate. I’m not entirely sure what the dead client has to do with it all, but as my roommate Delphi would say, something’s rotten in the state of Dove & Flight. The cops assigned to this case are nicer than the last ones, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to share my suspicions with them.In the meantime, I’m making it a point to get to more auditions, even if it means getting up at six in the morning and waiting outside in the freezing cold just to get a time slot. Delphi’s lucky; she’s found her niche already with a Shakespeare company. She’s rehearsing Constance in King John, and she tried out a monologue on me the other day. She’s actually really good. Our friend Sunil…now, he has a gorgeous voice. But because he’s Indian, he’s always getting typecast as delivery boys, and they generally don’t break into song. It looks like he and I are might do a revue of original songs together, which will be really nice for both of us. It’s amazing how quickly you lose your identity when you’re not performing.Okay, time to finish my latte and start following up on this press release. But maybe I’ll just take a quick peek online and see if there are any good auditions coming up. You know what they say—an actor’s job is to audition! Well, when you’re not stuck temping. Oooh, this one looks good…for Phantom of the Opera on Broadway…
Joanne Sydney Lessner is the author of BloodWrites Award-Winner and Awesome Indies Mystery Pick The Temporary Detective, which introduces Isobel Spice, aspiring actress and resourceful office temp turned amateur sleuth. Isobel’s adventures continue in Bad Publicity. Joanne’s debut novel, Pandora's Bottle (Flint Mine Press), which was inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine, was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. No stranger to the theatrical world, Joanne enjoys an active performing career, and with her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, has co-authored several musicals, including the cult hit Fermat's Last Tango and Einstein's Dreams, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. Her play, Critical Mass, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010 as the winner of the 2009 Heiress Productions Playwriting Competition.
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Joanne will be awarding one Read Your Writes Book Review’s commenter an ebook copy of her novel Pandora's Bottle, inspired by the world's most expensive bottle of wine. And a blog tour grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (Leave your email address in the comments section in order to enter.)