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Prime Time

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Prime Time
Winner of Agatha Award for Best First Novel
Winner of the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers' Choice Award

Deadlines. Desire. Deception.
And whatever you do: Don't Delete.
The story of the century may be hiding in her junk mail folder.

Think that annoying spam clogging your computer is just so much cyber junk mail? Top notch TV reporter Charlotte McNally suspects it may be much more than that—in fact, she thinks some of it may be carrying secret big money messages to the group of insiders with the key to decode it. Problem is, the last outsider who deciphered the truth now resides in the local morgue.

Is this the biggest story of Charlie's life? Or the one that will end it?

Charlie's also facing another dilemma: what happens when a top-notch TV reporter is married to her job—but the camera doesn't love her anymore?

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Awards & Recognition

  • Winner of Agatha Award for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers' Choice Award
  • Finalist for the Daphne Du Maurier Award
  • RITA Award Nominee for Best First Novel & Best Romantic Suspense
  • The Boston Globe bestseller
  • "Fresh Pick of the Day!" on FreshFiction.com
  • Featured book of Final Twist, the Houston Texas Chapter of Sisters in Crime


#1 bestseller in 2009 (Mystery Lovers Bookshop)

"Prime Time is a cleverly written, completely captivating mystery with just the right soupçon of romance."
   —John Charles, Chicago Tribune

"At 46, TV reporter Charlie McNally is getting old for the screen. When a man working for a large pharmaceutical company is killed in an auto accident and she's sent to interview his wife, Charlie sees it as one more sign that her career is going downhill. Then she learns the man had e-mailed her about some papers—and that the company has a secret whistle-blower. As Charlie tries to get to the bottom of this juicy story, she meets professor Joshua Gelston, the first man who's interested her in ages, but is he one of the good guys?
Told in the first person, this book has humor, snappy language, danger and a wonderful mystery that will keep you guessing. Prime Time (4-1/2), by Hank Phillippi Ryan, has the perfect combination of mystery and romance." TOP PICK! 4 1/2 stars
   —Page Traynor, Romantic Times  

"...a wonderful mystery...The author juggles plot and character very deftly with Charlie emerging as one of the wittiest and brightest protagonists in current crime fiction."
   —Joe Meyers, Connecticut News

"Prime Time is an exciting story packed with action, adventure and lots of mystery. Charlie is an excellent lead character with her smart, quirky ways; she just pulls you right into the story as you see life through her eyes. Hank Phillippi Ryan has written a terrific tale of the world she knows and it shows in the details she has included throughout the story. Her writing style flows along fast and smooth as her bold characters take center stage and make you feel as though you're apart of their world. Prime Time gets 5 Angels and I will be eagerly awaiting more stories from this talented writer."
   —Fallen Angel Reviews

"A fast paced edgy debut mystery that will surely earn author Hank Phillippi Ryan a solid fan base. Her in-depth knowledge of the television industry comes alive in vivid Technicolor on the pages. With the numerous twists and turns to the storyline, readers will find it difficult to put the book down. Charlie is a likeable character who felt remarkably like a close friend; she is an engaging woman who will garner a large following in this reader's opinion. Her dedication to her job and her warm and caring personality are admirable traits; her clever dialogue and intense focus on reporting wrongdoing cemented her series as a "must-read" series in this reader's book. A perfect book for anyone who loves to be entertained, PRIME TIME is a marvelous debut novel."
   —Lettetia Elsasser, SingleTitles.com

"Loved it! Smart, funny, fresh, intriguing and thoroughly entertaining—I highly recommend this series."
   —Suzanne Brockmann

"Prime Time is a fast-paced, thoroughly enjoyable, well written and plotted mystery and Charlie McNally is an appealing lead character. The story she and Franklin pursue lead them to deciphering a code in the message, but not before another man is killed (another automobile "accident"?) and the life of a third threatened. The reader will be as determined as Charlie to unravel this mystery and will be hard pressed to put this book down before she does. PRIME TIME is a terrific debut to this series; a sequel is eagerly awaited."
   —Mysterious Reviews

"Prime Time is a compelling mystery.... Hank Phillippi Ryan has brought us a character mature women can root for. Charlie's a winner. As Ryan, and Charlie, have shown, forty-six is a woman's Prime Time."
   —Lesa's Book Critiques

"Prime Time is a suspenseful, humorous, and cyber-hip mystery that gives readers an authentic, full-Monty view of the high-stakes world of television journalism."
   —Crime Stalkers

"I can't wait to read the next! Please write faster! I highly recommend this book."

"Looks like mystery fans have a new series to test their wits against. The author, Hank Phillippi Ryan, is writing about what she knows best, investigative reporting. Since Hank Ryan has been a television reporter in Boston for quite some time now, she is able to bring realism to her writing. The main trio, Charlie, Franklin, and Josh, are well developed and vividly believable. As for the story, it flows so smoothly that the next spam refinance email I received, I actually opened to see if there was any code apparent. Author Hank Phillippi Ryan just may be to mystery books what John Grisham is to legal thrillers."
   —Debra Fitch, Huntress Reviews

"Hank Phillippi Ryan knows first-hand about investigative reporting, having earned numerous awards as an on-air reporter in Boston. Prime Time is a meticulously written, page turning suspense tale peopled with interesting, intelligent characters. Ms. Ryan's obvious pride in her profession comes through loud and clear with this complex, tantalizing storyline. And, by the way, surprise endings just don't get any better than this one!"
   —Betty Cox, Reader to Reader Reviews

"Hank Phillippi Ryan has the kind of quick wit, crackling pace, and the been-there-done-that credentials that make Charlotte "Charlie" McNally a great heroine and Prime Time a great read."
   —Harley Jane Kozak, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Award-winning author of Dating Dead Men and Dead Ex

"Prime Time is hilarious. An intriguing mystery and a fascinating insider's view of television journalism written by one of TV's most successful investigative reporters. Charlie McNally is one of a kind—smart, sassy, and a thoroughly endearing character. Hank Phillippi Ryan is a fresh new voice in crime fiction."
   —Hallie Ephron, crime fiction reviewer for the Boston Globe and author of Writing and Selling your Mystery Novel: How to Knock Em Dead with Style

"Prime Time is current, clever and chock-full of cliff-hangers. Readers are in for a treat."
   —Mary Jane Clark, New York Times Best Selling author of Dancing in the Dark, Nowhere to Run and Lights Out Tonight

"Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers mystery, murder, romance and knowledge in the field with humor, and her familiarity of Boston makes Prime Time a riveting, first-person POV...I look forward to more books from this author. She's dynamic in real life and it reflects in the dialogue and plotting of her writing as well. A real page turner from a promising new author!"
   —Cindy Bauer, Bookpleasures.com

"Prime Time, by Hank Phillippi Ryan is a fascinating glimpse into journalism, an intriguing mystery, and a sweet romance, with sassy, but loveable characters, amidst a laugh-out-loud dialog to liven any mood."
   —Kelly Moran, Bookpleasures.com

Mira, paperback, July 2009, ISBN: 978-0778327172
Harlequin, paperback, June 2007, ISBN: 978-0373881352