By REGINA M. ANGELI
Meg Cabot, author of the popular "Princess Diaries," has a spunky amateur sleuth, Heather Wells, who works her way through college in New York, solves mysteries, and tries on wedding dresses in her spare time, "Size 12 and Ready to Rock." (William Morrow, 361 pages)
As assistant residence hall director at New York College's Fischer Hall, Heather is charged with helping to host young singing sensation, Tania Trace, and her Teen Rock Camp. The whole production is being filmed as a reality TV show.
The assignment dredges up a great deal of unpleasantness for Heather, who was once a singing superstar in her younger days before her record company dropped her for gaining too much weight. Then her mother pocketed all her earnings.
To add insult to injury, Tania Trace has married Heather's former boyfriend and is expecting a baby. Poor Heather has just learned she has endometriosis and may not be able to bear children.
Things take a dramatic turn for the worst when a gift basket containing vegan cupcakes laced with warfarin arrive at Fischer Hall and the television show's assistant producer collapses after eating one of the toxic treats. Heather and her current boyfriend, who happens to be the brother of her ex-boyfriend, are called in to protect Tania and the singing teens.
Heather tries to take the girls on a musical tour of New York when the old generation gap sets in a big way. What does one do with a group of girls who think Madonna is matronly - give one's regard to Broadway?
The chapters are laced with songs with contemporary lyrics, as in Heather Wells' "Thank You" which concludes with the following:
"So I thank you now
For setting me free
I said thank you now
So please stop Facebooking me."
Then there is the catchy little hit by Tania Trace entitled, "So Sue Me."
Meg Cabot has a good thing going with her ex-rocker detective Heather Wells.
This book is set for release on July 10, 2012.