Frankel, Valerie 1965-
FRANKEL, Valerie 1965-
PERSONAL: Born January 15, 1965, in Newark, NJ; daughter of Howard (a physician) and Judy Frankel. Education: Dartmouth College, B.A., 1987. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish.
CAREER: Editor and author. New York Woman, New York, NY, researcher, 1987-89; Mademoiselle, New York, NY, associate editor, 1990-95, articles editor, 1993-99.
MEMBER: Authors Guild.
"WANDA MALLORY" MYSTERY SERIES
A Deadline for Murder, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1991.
Murder on Wheels, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1992.
Prime Time for Murder, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1994.
A Body to Die For, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.
(With Ellen Tien) The Heartbreak Handbook: How toSurvive the Worst 24 Hours of Your Life and Move On, Fawcett/Columbine (New York, NY), 1994.
(With Ellen Tien) The I Hate My Job Handbook: How to Deal with Hell at Work, Fawcett/Columbine (New York, NY), 1995.
(With Ellen Tien) Prime-Time Style: The Ultimate TVGuide to Fashion Hits and Misses, Berkley (New York, NY), 1996.
Smart vs. Pretty, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2000.
The Accidental Virgin, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2003.
The Not-So-Perfect Man, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Shannon Mullen) The Best You'll Ever Have:What Every Woman Should Know about Getting and Giving Knock-Your-Socks-Off Sex, Crown (New York, NY), 2005.
The Girlfriend Curse, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Work represented in anthologies, including Malice Domestic 1, 1992.
SIDELIGHTS: Valerie Frankel is the author of humorous self-help books, novels, and the "Wanda Mallory" mystery series. Frankel actually began her writing career as a fact-checker at New York Woman. She later left that post for a position at Mademoiselle where, among other endeavors, she wrote a column about sex. The experience helped prepare Frankel for writing her collection of entertaining self-help titles.
Frankel's book-length publications began with her mystery A Deadline for Murder, which introduced readers to tough-talkin' female private investigator, Wanda Mallory. Frankel continued the series with the publication of Murder on Wheels, Prime Time for Murder and A Body to Die For. In Murder on Wheels Wanda helps the leader of a biker gang locate money stolen from his social club. Wanda investigates the shooting death of a guest on a dating game show in Prime Time for Murder, and becomes a member at a posh health club in order to investigate a series of crimes in A Body to Die For.
With Ellen Tien, Frankel penned several self-help books on a variety of topics, including The Heartbreak Handbook: How to Survive the Worst 24 Hours of Your Life and Move On, which provides readers with helpful and humorous advice on coping with a breakup. The book includes tips from the authors, true stories from their friends, and advice from therapists. The authors also include quizzes, surveys, and other fun tidbits to keep readers' minds focused on anything but what's-his-name.
The I Hate My Job Handbook: How to Deal with Hell at Work is a guide to surviving a less-than-desirable job. Frankel and Tien give readers advice on coping with bad bosses and exhausting job searches. According to Megan Harlan of Entertainment Weekly, "Anyone who has ever hated a job should love this book." Booklist's Barbara Jacobs observed that while the book "provides quite a few solutions to laugh about," it also gives readers some "commonsense advice."
Prime Time Style: The Ultimate Guide to Fashion Hits and Misses critiques the fashions of stars on thirty-five of Hollywood's hit television shows. With the help of wardrobe experts and hairstylists, the authors reveal style secrets and offer helpful advice on fashion do's and don'ts.
In addition to her mystery novels, Frankel's solo projects include the novels Smart vs. Pretty, The Accidental Virgin, and The Not-So-Perfect Man. In Smart vs. Pretty, Greenfield sisters Francesca and Amanda must devise a way to save their family-owned coffee shop from being overtaken by the large chain next door. With the help of a college student named Clarissa MacFlanahagan, the sisters find their way out of their business troubles. Elizabeth Mary Mellett of Library Journal termed the book "light, amusing, and generally entertaining."
The Accidental Virgin, originally appeared on USAToday.com as a seven-week series comprising an online novel in which Stacy Temple, a single thirty-something working as a marketer at Thong.com, lives a rather uneventful life. Stacy, who has been sex-free since she broke up with her boyfriend, Brian, almost a year ago, is informed by a magazine article that going without sex for a year constitutes becoming a "born-again virgin." Stacy, determined not to revert to virgin status, begins searching for a man to help her break her sexual stalemate. Booklist's Kristine Huntley dubbed the book "laugh-out-loud funny." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted, "Frankel's wit and playfulness make the tale scroll right along."
In The Not-So-Perfect Man, Frankel once again puts a humorous slant on troubled relationships. The novel's main character, Frieda Schast, gets ready to hit the dating scene after the death of her husband, Gregg. Set on making sure their sister finds the perfect man, Ilene and Betty offer advice and matchmaking services to Frieda. The three sisters anchor a story full of twists and relationship quandaries.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Heising, Willetta L., Detecting Women 2: A Reader'sGuide and Checklist for Mystery Series Written by Women, Purple Moon Press, 1996-97.
Booklist, December 1, 1995, Barbara Jacobs, review of The I Hate My Job Handbook: How to Deal with Hell at Work, p. 593; February 15, 2003, Kristine Huntley, review of The Accidental Virgin, p. 1057.
Entertainment Weekly, February 23, 1996, Megan Harlan, review of The I Hate My Job Handbook, p. 118.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2002, review of TheAccidental Virgin, p. 1788.
Library Journal, December, 1995, Joshua Cohen, review of The I Hate My Job Handbook, p. 124; February 1, 2000, Elizabeth Mary Mellett, review of Smart vs. Pretty, p. 116.
Publishers Weekly, July 24, 2000, review of The Accidental Virgin, p. 34; January 12, 2004, review of The Not-So-Perfect Man, p. 35.
San Francisco Review, March, 1997, review of Prime-Time Style, p. 8.
USA Today Web site,http://www.usatoday.com/ (March 14, 2003), "Talk Today (Community chat): The Accidental Virgin: Valerie Frankel."*