Local writer and journalist Denise Hamilton calls the genre of her new novel Damage Control “surf noir or grrrrrrl noir.” Hamilton of course is no stranger to the noir world, having authored several popular crime novels in the Eve Diamond series and being the editor of the L.A. Noir anthology for Akashic Books. The twist in her latest, stand-alone mystery is that the expected unveiling of the layers behind the genteel facade of L.A. bourgeois life is seen through the eyes of a PR consultant hired to clean up a Chandra Levy/Gary Condit-type scandal. As public relationist Maggie Silver comes to terms with the murder of a powerful senator's young aid, she must also reevaluate her high school friendship with the senator's daughter. This is the framework for Hamilton's watercolors of SoCal life, gleaned from her extensive experience as a reporter on local subcultures for the L.A. Times. Hamilton will be doing her home-turf reading and signing for Damage Control at Los Feliz's book mecca Skylight. Vroman's, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Wed., Sept. 21, 7 p.m.; free, book is $27. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com.

Wed., Sept. 21, 7 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly