Al Roker, Author

It seems a famous name on the cover doesn’t always win over readers.

Al Roker, book lover and Today Show‘s seemingly irrepressible weatherperson, releases his first work of adult fiction today; The Morning Show Murders. Library users are not jumping on it; holds are light. Selectors have also been cautious; the systems we checked ordered just one per large branch, despite strong prepub reviews. PW called it “solid and exciting”; Kirkus, “a crisp puzzler”; Booklist reveals a bit of anti-celebrity prejudice by calling it “surprisingly engaging.”

Of course, Roker can expect to get more publicity than your average first-time mystery author. He is interviewed in USA Today, in a story that gives more ink to how various Today Show staffers feel about the book (even though none of them have read it yet), than the book itself.

He is also featured on the Today Show, but most of the segment is taken up by an odd, not particularly funny, fake book trailer.

Fortunately, mystery maven Sarah Weinman treats Roker like an author in The Daily Beast, delving in to his writing process with coauthor Dick Lochte and the book’s tone (unlike Roker’s on-air personality, his book has its dark moments).

The main character, Billy Blessing, is a chef and restaurant owner, who also does segments on a TV morning show and has just begun filming a reality show. There’s no love lost between Blessing and the show’s executive producer, who inconveniently dies after eating poisoned coq au vin in Blessing’s restaurant.

The book is the first of a planned series. Roker and his coauthor are working on the second one, which is scheduled for release in fall 2010.

The Morning Show Murders
Al Roker, Dick Lochte
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press – (2009-11-24)
ISBN / EAN: 038534368X / 9780385343688

Random House Audio; 9780307577375; $35

2 Responses to “Al Roker, Author”

  1. Ann Chambers Theis Says:

    CCPL (Metro Richmond, VA) has 39 holds on 4 copies of the Roker/Lochte title – but we have a strong crime fiction customer base.

  2. Rick Roche Says:

    At my library, we just withdrew Don’t Make Me Stop This Car and Big Shoes, neither of which have gone out in years. The latter only went out a few times the year it was added. His barbecue book is still going out.