Ace freelance PR woman and amateur detective Temple Barr is 30-going-on-19 when she agrees to do homicide lieutenant Carmen Molina a big favor and go undercover as a contestant at Teen Idol, a TV reality show. The lieutenant is worried because someone is threatening the contestants--including her own 13 year old daughter--by leaving mutilated Barbie dolls all over Las Vegas.
Reliving the years of melodrama and teen angst while acting as a nanny-cum-diversion is bad enough, but Temple is dismayed to discover her professional nemesis is in charge of PR for Teen Idol-and, even worse, her romance novelist aunt has flown in from New York to be a judge. Can redheaded Temple fool her nearest and least dearest with a black dye job to complement her new punk persona, Xoë Chloë Ozone?
Temple is on her own among 28 unnatural blonds, who all say they'd kill to make the final cut and be named Teen Idol Queen... and one of them might actually do it. Usually Temple has an ace or two up her sleeve, but Max Kinsella, Temple's ex-magician boyfriend, is AWOL plotting to infiltrate a sinister cabal of terrorist magicians, and neighbor-slash-sometime love interest Matt Devine is in Chicago, tracking down his shocking family roots.
Luckily, there's one one alpha male Temple can always lean on: Midnight Louie, her black alley-cat roommate. Louie is already on the case, ensuring that all the "little dolls" under his care debut on national TV as more than lovely corpses.