SPYGIRL by Amy Gray


True Adventures from My Life as a Private Eye
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Life and loves in the big city, exuberantly chronicled by debut author Gray, who quit her low-paying publishing job to become a private investigator.

This particular detective, however, was as intent on finding someone to love as on decoding clues. Gray’s story is a literary rite of passage that wryly chronicles what she learned about life and herself while working and searching for Mr. Right. The search took place in some of New York’s grungier bars, where the music was good, the drinks cheap, and the dating potential high. The author first recalls how, bored by a succession of grunt jobs in publishing after her graduation from Brown, she went to work for a small detective agency in Lower Manhattan. Her coworkers and workplace were more Saturday Night Live than Magnum PI. The office—a “cavernous Chelsea loft . . . that missed the eighties renovation boom”—was dirty, her bosses wore T-shirts and went out drinking together on odd-numbered days. Gray describes such successful gigs as tracking down a man who liked to stage fancy weddings (for one he hired an entire circus without paying for it), another man who ran an online software developer and retail port as well as a financial consulting business from prison, and a Swedish magnate’s son who embezzled companies’ pension funds. The work was corporate-related and involved data searching as well as legwork like contacting former in-laws or disgruntled former employees, and Gray found it exciting. Her search for love was bumpier, yielding such disappointments as health-obsessed veterinarian Edward; rock ’n’ roll–obsessed Dan, who called her “Dude”; and gallery owner Peter, who questioned her dating modus operandi. Gray ruefully came to realize that she wasn’t such a good detective when it came to finding a man.

Entertaining and stylishly written.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2003
ISBN: 0-375-50600-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2003