I was in Silicon Valley last week on a short vacation, and spent much of my time there with Hillary Johnson, my friend and the author of Shooting Stars: A Carlotta Novak Mystery, which is free for Kindle until midnight. (The paperback is not free but is a thing of beauty.) This is not Hillary’s first book – she’s spent her time on the New York Times bestseller list and has won critical raves for her work – but it is her first mystery novel. I’ve never been into the genre, but the skewering of the Hollywood machine and the intellectual edge to this work made it my favorite fiction of 2012 (so far).
Someday I will write a full-blown tribute to Hillary, who is one of the smartest, most accomplished, interesting people I know. We shared a house for a couple of years while I was working at my last start-up, and the fact that we still chose to hang out almost every day of my vacation is something I don’t take for granted. (I wasn’t home much when we lived together, but I’ve known enough friendships ruined by cohabitation to know it was a lucky escape for us.) But for now, just check out her book if you like your writing smart, funny, and a little sadistic. (Below: My favorite picture of us, which she did not know I was taking, at a hotel in Los Angeles in 2010.)