I finished by 65th read this morning. That's 7 books less than I had finished this time last year. Now, 2005 was my personal best year ever - but still I'm a little depressed. That's what happens when you get stuck reviewing crap and your job sucks the life out of you. Now I have a new job, and while my mystery reading has been good - I wish I could find a truly wonderful romance novel to read. Speaking of....
Could the romance genre please take note? I just wrapped up Too Darn Hot by Sandra Scoppettone. A mystery set in 1940s New York City. Why can't I get romances with these sort of settings? Oh yeah, they apparantly don't sell.
Anyway, Too Darn Hot is the second book featuring Faye Quick - a Gal Friday who finds herself becoming a private detective after her boss goes off to war. He wants a business to come home to, and he asks Faye to man the fort. This time out she's busy with too many clients thanks to the press she got for solving the murder in book 1, This Dame For Hire. She's all set to turn Claire Turner away, but then she hears her sob story. She's so in love and her soldier boyfriend Charlie has disappeared while in the city on leave. Please find him Faye.
Instead she finds a dead body in Charlie's hotel room. Who is the unfortunate corpse, and where oh where is Chuckles?
I thought the first book had it's charms, but have to say I really enjoyed this second story more. It's got a crime noir feel to it (seriously, I expected Bogart to walk down the street), and there are a lot of twists and turns. Ever time the reader thinks they have all the facts, the author makes a sharp left turn and throws in another angle. It makes an engaging read and the mystery really hums along.
Really though it's the setting and Faye that keep me coming back. The author invokes the time period without beating the reader over the head with it. Faye's out of nylons, sugar is being rationed, the owner of her favorite diner hasn't been the same since his brother was killed in Europe and everybody smokes because nobody knows about lung cancer.
It's really a lot of fun and a new series I recommend checking out. Next up - another mystery, Murder of a Real Bad Boy by Denise Swanson.