When this little book came out after "The Angel's Take Manhattan" I thought it was supposed to be the book they were reading in the episode. I never noticed the book in the episode simply had the title "Melody Malone." But "The Angel's Kiss" is a prequel of sorts to the episode/book in the episode. There are definite links, like a mention of P.I. Garner and a cameo by Julius Grayle. We do get to see how Grayle got his angel. And the statue of the woman and boy are there, but it is definitely a River story, despite that name not being mentioned.
The whole book would probably fall flat for anyone who doesn't watch the show. There are many subtle nods to the show, but never any direct mention or connection of anything other than River and the angels. Only the barest hints at things like time travel, hallucinogenic lipstick, and The Doctor. That's okay, though, because I discovered that River can carry a story on her own. Justin Richards did a great job with her dialog. I found it easy to hear Alex Kingston's voice delivering the lines, which made her sexual innuendos funnier to read. He also provided an easy read that was a detailed story that moved swiftly. He did a good job of creating a late 30's feel.
The story is of Melody Malone, private investigator, taking a case from a top 30's movie star who has overheard plans to kill him. On their second meeting it is clear the case will not be simple when the star does not remember her. The story is pretty straightforward for the first half (4 chapters), but then Melody accepts the offer of studio executive Max Kleiner to visit the set, everything gets going, and a bit crazy. I would read another River story. Maybe some archaeological trips? It definitely gives me optimism about reading some of this author's other Doctor Who books that have come out.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the 'About the Author' page. Here is what it says:
"Melody Malone is the owner and sole employee of the Angel Detective Agency in Manhattan. She is possibly married but lives alone usually, and is older than both her parents. Sometimes.
Why not visit her website? Ah - probably because the internet hasn't been invented yet. Sorry, Sweetie."
Visit this link to get the book on Kindle from Amazon