This Dame for Hire

Sandra Scoppettone, Author . Ballantine $21.95 (253p) ISBN 978-0-345-47810-8

An original idea—a female PI working on her own in 1943—and an unusually imaginative portrait of a New York City coping, surviving, even thriving during WWII lift the first of a new suspense series from Scoppettone (Gonna Take a Homicidal Journey ). Faye Quick makes a tough and touching heroine, with a voice that just cries out for an actress like Ida Lupino to bring her to cinematic life. She starts as a secretary, learns everything her sleazy but charming boss knows about being a detective, then assumes charge of the agency after her employer is drafted. "Even though I looked like any 26-year-old gal ankling round New York City in '43, there was one main difference between me and the rest of the broads," Faye tells us. "Show me another Jane who did my job and I'd eat my hat." This lively, slightly mocking tone continues at perfect pitch, as Quick finds the dead body of a missing young woman on a snowy street, then is hired by the victim's parents to catch the killer. There are echoes of Chandler and Hammett in the distance, but the plot offers some fresh surprises. Best of all, Quick's 1943 New York looks like old magazine and newspaper photographs come to life—not faded but enhanced by the passage of time. Agent, Charlotte Sheedy . (July 5)

Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-3696-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 290 pages - 978-0-345-47811-5
Hardcover - 477 pages - 978-0-7862-7835-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-3695-0
Ebook - 310 pages - 978-0-345-48458-1
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