“Today” show personality Al Roker, already a successful author, has written a new mystery thriller set in his own world of network breakfast television.  IN STORES TODAY, the 320-page crime novel, titled “The Morning Show Murders,” draws on Roker’s own experiences, those of people he knows and his love of cooking, reports Reuters.  Its central character Billy Blessing owns a Manhattan restaurant and also cooks on air for fictional show “Wake Up America.” Unfortunately amidst his success, he finds his producer murdered and himself as the prime suspect.  Roker, 55, admits that Billy Blessing draws on parts of his own life.  “He’s black, bald and chubby with a little bit of a sense of humor,” Roker said of Blessing.  The book was written in collaboration with Dick Lochte, an established crime fiction writer. Roker praised Lochte, 65, as indispensable and said he gave him an outline and made himself available for discussions during the nine months it took to write the book.  “I know TV and I know cooking,” said Roker, who has authored two cook books. “I knew who I wanted the bad guys to be. The international intrigue, he knows that.Roker said he wrote his own novel waiting at airports and on planes, even during brief downtime when covering the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

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