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Cloudy With a Chance of Murder

There’s definitely a change in climate for Al Roker. America’s most popular weatherman is trying his hand at writing murder mysteries.

Roker, who has been the weather and feature reporter on NBC’s TODAY show since January 1996,  draws on personal experience and his love of cooking in his 320-page crime novel released yesterday.

While the title The Morning Show Murders may have his coworkers squirming a little, Roker reassuringly denies using the book as an outlet for any work-related grievances that have or may come up.   And when asked by a colleague if any of his workmates are featured in the book,  Roker laughed, “On the advice of my attorney, I say no.”

Roker does admit that the central character Billy Blessing, a celebrity chef, restaurateur and a popular network breakfast television show host, is based on a recognizable TODAY show celebrity. “He’s a chef. He’s African-American, bald, a little stocky,” Roker said.

About the book:

morning-show-murders-al-rokerNobody can dish morning TV like Al Roker, who’s seen every side of a business that looks good on camera—even when sharks are circling inside the gleaming glass Manhattan media headquarters. Treachery abounds in Roker’s riotously thrilling debut novel—at once an ingenious murder mystery and a delicious behind-the-scenes look at network TV. As fact and fiction collide and the backbiting ignites, The Morning Show Murders will make you wonder: How much of this stuff is real?

Network TV can be murder. Just ask Billy Blessing, famous for his smile, charm, and ability to survive the shark tank that is high-stakes morning TV. But though Billy has outlived his fair share of prima-donnas, his cooking segment on Wake Up America! is a staple of the American diet, and his Manhattan bistro is a mega-success, his career has just taken a very dangerous turn: His show’s perky cohost, Gin McCauley, has launched into some brass-knuckles contract negotiations. A visiting Mossad agent is about to tell all on the air. And then the network’s head honcho is murdered in his luxury apartment, and an ambitious D.A. decides that Billy is to blame.

Forensics show that Gerry Gallagher was poisoned and that the fatal coq au vin came from Billy’s restaurant. Gerry had an impressive list of women in his black book—and a news assignment in Afghanistan had plunged the TV exec into the heart of a violent international secret. Now unsavory characters are coming out of the woodwork, and another murder strikes the show’s inner circle. Billy knows that someone’s trying to frame him. He also knows that a ruthless international assassin has just arrived in New York City. And suddenly, for the most trusted guy on TV the ultimate career move is not about ratings. It’s about staying alive—and stopping the next murder from becoming tomorrow’s breaking news.

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