when the world's blowing up, a little light reading can be a big relief. So dive into Sparkle Hayter's Naked Brunch and laugh. Expat Hayter, best known as the author of the Robin Hudson mysteries, tells a werewolf tale with a twist. The hero in this case is a woman, Annie Engel, whose personality change from ineffectual yes-girl to suddenly surly truth-teller has her co-workers wondering.
She's in the dark, too, until she realizes she has Lycanthropic Metamorphic Disorder (LMD), which turns her into a werewolf hunting down human prey. Thing is, she -- and later kindred spirit Jim -- go after rapacious capitalists who don't deserve to live.
Should Annie capitulate to psychiatrist Marco, who's figured out a way to control LMD via drugs and "confinement therapy"? Will the sad-sack CNN reporter solve the mystery of the serial killings? Will true lupine love conquer all?
This would be plain silly if Hayter didn't have a way with satire. Her send-up of the New York party scene is a hoot, and the way she ups the ante on every killing -- her villains are deliciously dreadful -- keeps the pages turning.
OK, the title has nothing to do with anything, and you may want to wait for the paperback version before you commit. But whenever you get to it, you'll be howling at the moon.
naked brunch by Sparkle Hayter (McClelland and Stewart), 320 pages, $32.99 cloth. Rating: NNN