Title: Hot Ticket
Publisher: Warner Books, New York
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: First Edition
First printing: November 1998, stated; full number line. Inscribed, signed, and dated on the title page by the author: "To Sandy / With best wishes / Janice Weber / 15 Sep 99." The book is square and unmarked; corners sharp, spine ends lightly bumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $24.00); Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 006432
Synopsis: When secret agent Leslie Frost is sent to Washington, D.C. to pick up a murder case, her search for a murderer leads her to the steaming jungles of Central America, where famed ethnobotanist Louis Bailey has vanished. Not coincidentally, his brother, lies terminally ill with a mosquito-borne dengue fever, the possible victim of assassination by insect. Sooner than she can say Paganini, Frost, a concert violinist, is back in D.C. playing an erotic duet with Fausto Kiss, a pianist of great wealth who thrives on everyone's secrets. Caught between cold ambitions and red-hot romance, Frost must fight for her life.
From the Author: Hot Ticket
by Janice Weber
Leslie Frost first appeared to me between midnight and dawn on a blustery night in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. I had just played a recital at the US Embassy for a private audience of the city's cultural elite: actresses, film directors, opera singers, sculptors, painters, conductors, composers, pianists, and publishers (funny, no novelists), as well as several visiting US ambassadors, consuls, and last but not least, "cultural officers". This was the last concert on a rather hectic tour and I should have been tired, but the excitement of the evening kept me awake long after the last guest had departed. I had never seen so many exotically beautiful women or slightly sinister men packed into one room. The crowd was smoking, drinking, and laughing with that intensity nurtured by eastern Europe's mottled history. I noticed men in corners, speaking briefly and furtively. About what? Who was that lone American slithering like a ghost past ladies in heavy silk and heavier red lipstick? Who were these guests, really? Why had I been invited to play for them? My imagination zipped into overdrive: there were spies among us.
What better cover for a spy, I later thought, than that of concert performer? Espionage required a mobile and solitary traveller with access to the highest and lowest tiers of society...a complex personality who could lead several convincing lives...a woman of mystery and cunning...an American expatriate who loved her homeland yet cringed at its indiscipline...namely, Leslie Frost. She first appeared to readers from her mansion in Berlin, just as the Wall was tumbling down and the border between East and West began to hemorrhage secret agents.
In HOT TICKET, having survived (at the expense of two lovers) her assignment in Germany, Frost is sent to Washington DC. She begins innocently enough with a concert at the White House but quickly finds herself in trouble when, a few hours later, she discovers a body at Watergate and President Marvel, perhaps a devotee of fine music, invites her over for a nightcap. [Sorry! I finished this two years before Monica! Was it Oscar Wilde who said it's amazing how life continues to imitate art???]
HOT TICKET gave me the chance to explore the unnerving similarities between musicians and politicians, as well as give Frost the opportunity to replenish her supply of suitors, this time both male and female. I went to Belize (and was nearly trampled by a tapir) to research the jungle scenes, where the concept of "eat or be eaten" is observed somewhat more literally than in Washington. Power being the ultimate aphrodisiac, the cast of HOT TICKET is understandably ardent, and Frost doesn't escape without a few burns on her nimble fingers: all in all, a fair exit fee from that great zoo, jungle, and circus Washington. Hope you like it!
(c) 1998 by Janice Weber. All right reserved.
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