07/11/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Black and White and Dead All Over: New York Times Veteran Pens Newspaper Murder Mystery

Have you picked out your beach reading material yet? If you work at The New York Times, you might want to get your hands on an advance copy of Black and White and Dead All Over by John Darnton -- if only to find out if you're in it.

The novel, which comes out July 31, is a roman à clef about the Times, where Darnton worked for more than 30 years as a reporter and editor. Its fictional counterpart is the New York Globe, a publicly-owned, family-controlled broadsheet with a dual stock structure and a plummeting stock price, headquartered on Eighth Avenue just off Times Square (which really ought to be "Globe Square" for consistency, but whatever).

Virtually every well-known Times journalist from the last few decades turns up somewhere in the murder mystery, along with a few recognizable figures from outside the paper, including Matt Drudge (a.k.a. Nat Dreck) and Rupert Murdoch (a.k.a. Lester Moloch). As a guessing game, it's almost too easy. Could the square-jawed, email-addicted foreign correspondent-turned-executive editor be anyone other than Bill Keller? Do you need to know that "Jimmy Pomegranate" is a rotund expense-account abuser to guess that he's a stand-in for R.W. "Johnny" Apple? And whoever could be the inspiration for the hyper-aggressive middle-aged female reporter known for big-footing others' stories and getting excessively intimate with the powerful men she covers?