Nancy and George scored two tickets to Marcy!, the hottest teen talk show around because their high school friend Susan works for the show. Poor Bess is stuck at home sick. Susan invites them to the studio, shows them a brand new publicity shot for the host Marcy Robbins, and introduces them to people working on the show like Jack, the stage manager. He makes a joke about Marcy sending him out for a magazine just as the star herself shows up and shouts at him for taking too long.
Marcy then brings them back to her dressing room and opens the package with her new publicity shot in it to find that someone ripped it into pieces. When Nancy puts it back together again, they find a threatening message on it in magenta marker. Her and George scour the building for the same marker. Nancy eventually finds it just about to get tossed in the dumpster and decides that since it's almost empty, it must be the one used to write the message.
After the show, Marcy has an argument over the phone with Vic, her ex-boyfriend. He suggested she sell an idea for a talk show, and then instead of asking him for help since he was/is a television producer, she went behind his back. Vic now wants to sue her because he thinks he deserves some of the profits. I have to say that I kind of agree with him. He's also touting some new chick named Samantha. Marcy watches Samantha on another talk show talking about how Marcy is a hack.
Susan invites them to a fundraising party/silent auction at the country club. Nancy finds a note that falls out of Samantha's pocket, which is from some guy named Morty telling her to just ignore Marcy. She stumbles across Jack backstage and listens as he tells her all about knowing Marcy as a kid. They also overhear Marcy and Vic fighting because he volunteered a date with himself and Marcy deliberately ignored some of the bids. Nancy and George head back to Susan's apartment and find a note warning Nancy to get out of town or else.
The only clue they find is a slip of paper left behind with a number on it, which is for a popular parking garage. Nancy and George check it out, get permission to tour the facility, and see Vic and Samantha having a very public fight. Vic sees them and throws a hissy fit, but they pretend that they're just fans. Nancy also goes to the magazine's office to get copies of all issues with Samantha or Marcy in them and find that all are missing.
During the next call in show, someone calls in and threatens Marcy again. The cops somehow trace the call, but the caller is naturally gone when they get there. Nancy then gets a note from the woman she talked to at the magazine, asking her to meet her in another building. When she gets there, someone locks her in and sets it on fire.
Luckily for Nancy, she gets to the second floor as George arrives to help. George drivers her car down the ally, wraps the rope that Nancy keeps in the trunk around an AC unit, and hits the gas. The AC falls out, letting Nancy escape through the hole in the wall. Damn, that's like Jason Statham level stuff. Anywho, they also hear a rumor that the producers want to fire Marcy and offer Samantha her job.
A newspaper runs an article about Samantha and Vic going out on the town together and how she'll sign autographs, so they go to the same club. George gets Vic to dance with her so Nancy can get closer, but Samantha flips out at him ignoring her to dance with someone else and explodes. She reveals that Vic will be the new producer of the Marcy show but that he's replacing her with some random woman. Vic then sees Nancy, shouts at her, and the girls run away.
The next couple of chapters are pretty boring. A random woman who had like four lines at the silent auction is the one chosen as the new host. Nancy and George visit her, pretending to be reporters for a new magazine. She grants them a short interview that is just long enough for Nancy to put it together that the woman is somehow involved. They confront her again, and she breaks down, reveals that she made the threatening calls, and tells them that Jack was involved. It turns out that he's secretly been in love with her for years and wanted to get back at her for rejecting him in the past.
This book really annoyed me, so I want to kind of wrap it up quickly. Jack knocks Susan out and ties her up before kidnapping Marcy. Nancy and George find where they are, try to talk some sense, into him, and when that fails, Nancy attacks him. She literally kicks him several times hard enough that he cracks his head on the concrete wall, which knocks him out.
The cops show up, Marcy thanks Nancy, and she invites them women to dinner at a fancy restaurant as a treat. When they all go out, they find her there with Vic. The two of them got back together, and Samantha even called to ask Marcy if she could come back on the show. Marcy then thanks them for saving her show.
*They go to this party at the country club and meet the editor of the biggest teen magazine around. She has them call her by her first name and not Mrs. because, as she explains, that's for women 40 and older and she still has a decade to go. Um, I don't think there were 30-year old magazine editors back then.
*Nancy's marker theory is just plain weird. She says that the marked used must be almost empty because it would take so much to write the message. The message is like six words long and written across a standard picture.
*Samantha hates Marcy because Marcy revealed on her show that the other woman's image was fake. Samantha always build herself as a bad girl who grew up on the streets, was beaten by her parents, and experimented with drugs. It turns out that she's actually from a middle class family in the suburbs and was even a Girl Scout.
*Of course Nancy keeps a big ass length of rope in her trunk just in case she might need it, of course.
*Um, I'm pretty sure if this show was as big of a hit as everyone says that the producers wouldn't fire the host and replace her with someone else for no reason.
*The suspect list in the front included Jack but mentioned that he had romantic feelings for Marcy. That actually never came up until like page 120-130 of a 150 page book.
*This book was super confusing. Jack was pretty much behind everything but never really did anything suspicious. I also think he only had maybe three scenes before the end too!