MORGUE MAMA: The Cross Kisses Back
In Corwin's witty and engaging caper, the start of a new series, newspaper archivist Dolly Madison Sprowls (called Morgue Mama "behind her back") and a determined cub reporter, Aubrey McGinty, team up to investigate the poisoning of TV evangelist Buddy Wing at the Heaven Bound Cathedral in "the Hallelujah city" of Hannawa, Ohio. Part satire and part social commentary, the story is far from a standard whodunit, since Aubrey, rather than finding the culprit, seems bent only on clearing the name of convict Sissy James, the badly abused ex-girlfriend of a rival preacher. The irrepressible, 67-year-old Maddy (as she prefers to be called), a lonely divorcée clinging to her post as manager of the Hannawa Herald-Union's morgue, helps Aubrey search the newspaper's records, which yield a multitude of suspects, some amusing and some tragic, but each adding an intriguing dimension to the ever more complex case. Smalltown politics and office love affairs entangle almost everyone except poor Maddy, whose existence before now has revolved around filing news articles in steel cabinets for brash reporters to paw through. Her matchup with Aubrey brings her and the reader genuine excitement right through the stunning conclusion to this lively adventure. (Oct. 1)
FYI:A former newspaper reporter, Corwin is the pseudonym of Rob Levandoski, author most recently of the satirical novel Fresh Eggs.