PRESS RELATIONS by Elisabeth McNeill


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A period idyll chronicling quasi-domestic life in an Edinburgh pressroom.

Far from the madding crowd in 1956—and from Hungary, Suez, and the nuptials of Princess Grace, all duly registered—the staff of the Evening Dispatch toil to spin the straw of their daily assignments into journalistic gold. They sorely miss Patricia Aitken, the most talented of their number, last seen departing for a posh job at Women’s World. But Patricia, who finds nothing to love in London or Women’s World, returns to wed her reluctant suitor, Scotsman columnist Hugh Maling. As the happy couple lurch toward the altar against the fervent advice of Patricia’s friend Rosa Makepeace (Hot News, not reviewed), an upstart new hire is getting ready to offer Patricia competition as the paper’s star reporter: Charles Rutland, who gets scoop after scoop no other newshound can find by the simple expedient of making them all up. How long can Charles ride his uncanny run of luck before he’s unmasked as a romancer of the press? How long before churlish Hugh wipes the dew from Patricia’s eyes? How long before an American heiress and her importunate suitor, who’ve run off to Scotland to escape the repressive eye of her uncle, tie the knot in the only ongoing story the Evening Dispatch gang seems to be following over this eventful summer?

Mild, aimless chitchat with murder tossed in toward the end, too little and too late.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7278-6002-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Severn House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2003