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The Girl Next Door
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(IMPORTANT NOTE NO. 1: Due to circumstances beyond the interns' control, there have been some changes to the Tangled Up in Khaki Tour schedule. Okay... maybe it wasn't entirely beyond the interns' control. Peter, the slothful intern, had been tasked with booking the tour. It turns out he spent most of the time photocopying his butt and mailing the images to strangers. Point is, if you were planning to come see Brad on the road, please check here to make sure the event still exists. Also, one of the events added—the reception being held April 16 in Newark by Jaffe Communications—requires an RSVP.)

The image was leaked by the interns at Crimespree Magazine, who at least wanted to give the interns at a warning as to what was coming—professional courtesy among interns being what it is.

It was actually Zach, the silly intern, who printed it out and brought it to the other interns' attention: the cover of the March/April issue of the until-now highly respected crime fiction magazine.

Crimespree Cover

"Oh, dear Lord," said Sarah, the smart intern. "How are we going to spin this one?"

"I don't think we have to spin anything," Zach said. "We just have to tell Brad that the local pimp called and wants his suit back."

"Oh, I don't know, I think it's kind of cool," said Maggie, the clueless intern, as she studied the printout. "Don't you think it has an 'international man of mystery' feel about it?"

"More like James Bond when he hasn't been drinking his prune juice," Zach said.

Just then, Peter, the slothful intern, walked through the office, carrying a stack of envelopes, snickering on his way to the mailbox.

"What's his deal?" Zach asked.

"You don't want to know," Sarah said. "Anyhow, we need to stay focused here. This is Brad's first magazine cover. We can't just let this pass without, I don't know, some kind of apology. Or at least an explanation, or something."

Maggie held it up again and smiled at it. "I don't think we have to say anything. Let's just let the picture speak for itself. I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words."

"Yeah, but do all the words have to be synonyms for 'fulsome?'" Sarah asked.

"Maggie's right," Zach said. "What's the worst that could happen? We get sued by the creators of Miami Vice?"

Sarah pondered this for a moment, considering all the variables. "I guess you're right," she said, finally. "I mean, the report from the publisher is that sales of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR are up. The reviews have been great. I guess we can just let this one pass."

Just as Sarah finished this pronouncement, Peter returned to the office.

"Hey," he said. "We're out of copy toner. Does anyone know where we have more?"

(IMPORTANT NOTE NO. 2: If you should happen to see Peter's name in the return address portion of an envelope that arrives in your mail, Do not open it).

On Behalf of Our Coverboy,
The Interns

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LATE BREAKING NEWS: The Girl Next Door has landed on the Baker & Taylor Mystery Bestseller List at No. 4! The interns are, naturally, taking full credit.

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