Too Darn Hot

Sandra Scoppettone, Author
Sandra Scoppettone, Author . Ballantine $24.95 (268p) ISBN 978-0-345-47812-2
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006

Like Scoppettone's This Dame for Hire (2005), which introduced Faye Quick, the semitough New York steno who turns private eye after her boss goes off to fight in WWII, this sequel vividly recreates 1943 Manhattan—the rumble of the subway train, the rattle of the taxi in a city not slowed down for a second by a war or an oppressive heat wave. Faye's voice is again pitch perfect, but the story isn't as strong as the earlier novel's. Claire Turner, a blonde beauty who works as a salesgirl at Wanamaker's department store, plays on Faye's sympathies to get her to agree to spend some of her time looking for Claire's missing GI boyfriend, Charlie Ladd. (Movie names dot every page: not only Turner and Ladd but folks called Widmark, Byington, Duff and Cummings have roles.) Of course, the too-good-to-be-true Charlie turns out to be just that, murders are committed both coolly and in hot blood, and all the while our very interesting Faye does a great imitation of the sort of dame Ida Lupino was born to play. (June)

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