This Dame for Hire
By Sandra Scoppettone
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345478108, 253pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 2005
List Price: $21.95*
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New York, 1943. Almost anything in pants has gone to serve Uncle Sam in the war-including Woody Mason, the head of a detective agency in midtown Manhattan. Left to run the show is his secretary, Faye Quick, who signed on to be a steno, not a shamus. At twenty-six and five foot four, there's not much to Faye, but she's got moxie-which she'll need when she stumbles over a dead girl in the street and takes on her first murder case.
This victim wasn't any ordinary girl. Claudette West was a student at NYU and the daughter of a Park Avenue family. Faye, who lives in bohemian Greenwich Village-where no one cares how you look-ventures uptown, where people care enough about money to kill for it. Claudette's father is convinced greed was the motive, and that Claudette's working-class boyfriend, Richard Cotten, killed the girl because she threw him off the gravy train.
Faye, however, isn't so sure, not when she learns about all the other men Claudette was secretly seeing-from her lecherous literature professor to an apparent con artist. For Faye, there are more shocking surprises in store than turns and dips in the Coney Island Cyclone.
Going after the bad guys and fighting a good fight on the home front, Faye is as scrappy and endearing as any character Sandra Scoppettone has ever created, and This Dame for Hire's period setting is rendered so real you can hear the big bandmusic, see the nylons and fedoras, and feel the rumble of the Third Avenue El. When it comes to an irresistible detective and a riveting new series, you must remember this: Here's looking at Faye Quick.