Raise your hand—who loves designer purses? We all do. They’re gorgeous, glamorous and desirable—and they look like they cost a million bucks. But wait—you see them in discount stores and on street vendors’ tables. Why? Because many of those hot-looking bags are phony.
Ever wonder where those knock-offs come from? And who’s getting rich? And biggest question of all—how they sell obvious knock-offs without taking heat from the authorities?
In life and love, how do you tell the real thing?
Charlotte McNally #3
On Sale: September 1, 2009
Featuring: Charlotte McNally
Mass Market Paperback
I’ve spent the last thirty years chasing good stories—and I knew this was a great one! As an investigative reporter in Boston, I went in disguise and undercover to explore the world of counterfeit couture—and the behind-the-scenes business of high-fashion fakes. I also learned some of the secret ways you can recognize the real from the rip-off.
We talked to investigators specially trained by the designers to scout out what’s real and what’s fake. They have elaborate manuals chock full of trade secrets, revealing the actual number of stitches per square inch, placement of logos, patterns—special hush-hush indicators that only the trained eye would know to look for.
But we can reveal: Check the stitching. On a real designer bag it will be perfect and even. Metal and fabric logos will be attached in a way so they can’t be yanked off. The real thing won’t come with handles wrapped in plastic and the bags won’t be stuffed with old newspapers. (We found some purses with bags filled with periodicals from Asia! That would never happen with a real designer bag.)
But as a mystery author, I always ask—what if? And I began to imagine the fascinating possibilities in designer duplicates. One of the things I love to do in my novels is take something that’s familiar and give it a twist or two that turns it into something unexpected and unpredictable. Because I already knew the inside scoop—that helped me create a truly workable scheme for my fictional crooks. (I can tell you, when I revealed it to law enforcement sources, they sheepishly admitted my plan was completely plausible!) .
So in my fast-paced thriller AIR TIME (Book 3 in the Charlotte McNally series), an investigation into the glam world of fashion fakes puts Charlie undercover and in disguise in the middle of a high-stakes scheme. (Sound familiar? Yes, I admit, she’s my almost alter-ego.) It’s all beautiful on the outside, but there’s a sinister secret inside one glamorous company. And in a life-changing split second, Charlie must decide what’s real—and what’s fake.
And going undercover is not her only dilemma—how about under the covers? Charlie’s long been married to her career, but now, at 47, there’s a man in her life. Is he—finally—“the one?” In life and in love—how do you tell the real thing?
Sue Grafton calls AIR TIME “First class entertainment.”
And after you read it, I promise you you’ll never look at air travel, fake purses or baggage claim the same way again
You met Charlie in PRIME TIME (which won the Agatha for best first mystery, as well as two RITA nominations), as she discovers secret messages in computer spam.
In FACE TIME (Book 2) Charlie stakes her career on getting an innocent woman out of prison—but what if she’s really guilty?
Suzanne Brockmann says—“I love this series!”
In my TV job, I can only write about the facts. But the facts prove how desire and ambition tempt even the most unlikely characters. Although Charlie’s stories are from my imagination—her stresses, her conflicts, and her determined search for answers are right out of television reality.
Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? Advice? Good stories for Charlie? Or for me? Please come visit me on my website www.hankphillippiryan.com
With unending gratitude