Writers of the Purple Sage

Barbara Burnett Smith, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (250p) ISBN 978-0-312-11352-0
The second book this fall with a title punned from Zane Grey (see Joe R. Lansdale's Writer of the Purple Rage, reviewed above) is a neatly crafted debut set in the town of Purple Sage, Tex. Narrator Jolie Wyatt, a fledgling mystery writer, has lived there for three years, drawn from Austin by her now defunct marriage. A writers' group she has started is full of colorful women-and then full of suspects after a venerable judge is murdered with a ploy taken from Jolie's novel-in-progress. Her novel and a recent altercation with the judge draw suspicion to Jolie, who sleuths to exculpate herself. Her investigations lead her to focus on a number of the writing group's members, including a newspaper reporter with a secret; a woman whose father killed himself long ago after selling land to the judge; and another whose youthful indiscretion with marijuana put her in the deceased's courtroom. While solving the murder, Jolie grows to understand her struggles with independence, allowing her to decide whether to return to Austin. Despite the self-consciousness of novice Smith's writing about a novice writer, the story is briskly told, the characters well rounded and Purple Sage promising as a rich setting for future tales from this talented newcomer. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Show other formats
FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-373-26214-4
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.