THIS DAME FOR HIRE by Sandra Scoppettone


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A female gumshoe, her boss off fighting the “Japs,” minds the store and more in 1943 Gotham.

Most people don’t believe Faye Quick is a private eye because the only girl detective they know is Nancy Drew. Hired as a secretary, Faye has swiftly graduated to stakeouts, and when Woody Mason is called to war, she assumes full control of A Detective Agency. In her first recorded case, Porter and Myrna West ask her to find out who murdered their daughter Claudette, whom Faye first met shortly after her demise. It soon turns out that Claudette’s course of study at NYU included enough extracurricular activities to make potential killers out of half a dozen men: her uncle, Marine Captain Cornell Walker; her ex-boyfriend Richard Cotten; her new boyfriend Alec Rockefeller; her boyfriend Warner Garfield; her non-boyfriend Gregory Flynn; and her lover, Prof. Brian Wayne. Lest the distaff side feel neglected, Faye also checks out Claudette’s NYU friends June Landis and Peggy Ann Lanchester, Myrna’s cold-hearted stepsister, Gladys Wright and Brian’s estranged wife Maureen. The plot is little more than a daisy chain of interviews while Faye waits for the right number to come up; it’s the ’40s atmosphere, thick enough to cut with a torch, that’s most likely to appeal.

“Ya can learn a lot from reading novels,” confides Faye. Ya sure can, if they’re as thick with period detail as Scoppetone (Gonna Take a Homicidal Journey, 1998, etc.) makes this one.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-345-47810-X
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2005


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