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What's a Girl Gotta Do?

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TV reporter Robin Hudson fills her New York apartment with poison ivy so that anyone who robs her will live to regret it. Dumped by a philandering husband who ”belches without excusing himself,” she has her eye on a much younger newsman when suddenly she becomes a prime murder suspect-and the next potential victim-in a series of blackmail killings linked to her news station. Author Sparkle (it’s her real name, after Dick Tracy’s Sparkle Plenty) Hayter writes like the stand-up comic she is: Trying to hurry across Manhattan, Robin wails, ”Fifteen thousand cabbies in New York, and I have to get the one who drives defensively,” and then, ”Fifteen thousand cabbies in New York, and I have to get the one who speaks English.” Hayter’s plot in What’s a Girl Gotta Do? is easy to get ahead of, but her feisty heroine and frequent one-liners nearly make up for it. B