After much agonizing, deliberation and advice-seeking, I have decided to release my agent from further representation of "Ring of Fire." Not only that, I've decided to retitle it and give it a thorough once-over. I'm working with "Dead Ringer" for now, even though I know the publisher has the final word over titles and cover art, etc. I like the juxtaposition of a serious, ominous-sounding title with whimsical cover art. Think Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey. The cover tells you it's not a hard-boiled suspense.
Of course, according to my (former) agent and the editors he's contacted, my book isn't a suspense novel, anyway. It has elements of suspense, yes, but it also has a love story (ick!) and humor (double ick!), qualifying it as "mainstream" or "commercial." I don't mind at all, but apparently, selling a mainstream/commercial book by a first-time author in today's market is a fool's errand.
So what's next? Try to stay positive, keep working on Book #2 and start searching for my next fool...er, agent. I'll keep you posted.