cover image Design for Dying: An Edith Head Mystery

Design for Dying: An Edith Head Mystery

Renee Patrick. Forge, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8184-2

Set in 1937, Patrick’s upbeat, name-dropping debut starring real-life Hollywood costume designer Edith Head puts feminine cleverness, fashion sense, and social acumen front and center. The police suspect Edith and Lillian Frost, a department store salesperson and wannabe actress, in the murder of Lillian’s often opportunistic ex-roommate, Ruby Carroll, who’s found dead in a gown that turns out to have been stolen from the wardrobe department of Paramount Pictures, where Edith works. To clear themselves, Lillian and Edith seek to unwind the threads of Ruby’s final ruse. The interests of celebrities, socialites, and European royalty cross with those of a shady photographer, a club owner, and a boarding house landlady—to create both a complex environment for sleuthing replete with possibilities and an exciting sense of the glamorous, gossipy, and creative world of cinema’s golden age. The warm working relationship that develops between Lillian and Edith will leave readers eager to see more of their adventures. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Apr.)