Saturday, December 29, 2007

Death Was the Other Woman-Linda L. Richards

Death Was the Other Woman
Linda L. Richards
St. Martin's, Jan 2008, $23.95
ISBN: 9780312377700

In 1931 Los Angeles cynical private investigator Dex Theroux runs a two person office. Whereas he does the leg work and takes the beatings, Kitty Pangborn runs the office and occasionally does safe field work. Dex is unsure why Kitty remains with him, as paying jobs are infrequent and he knows he is an alcoholic though with good cause.

Wealthy Rita Heppelwaite hires Dex to report on what her married boyfriend, Harrison Dempsey is doing. Thinking this is an easy case and needing help on surveillance, Dex brings Kitty with him. However, their prey proves to be someone else’s prey as the sleuth and his assistant finds the murdered corpse of Harrison. Dex wants to make money from his affluent client so he tells Kitty to say nothing about the dead body for now. Kitty is appalled by her boss’ disregard of the deceased so she defies Dex and calls the cops. However, to her shock she soon learns that Harrison is alive making her wonder what is going on.

With Madeline Carter on temporary hiatus, Linda L. Richards introduces readers to a new fascinating detective team in a fine historical mystery. The story line is fun, but not so much due to the mystery of Harrison and the corpse or depression Era L.A., but instead because of the bickering relationship between unethical Dex and the moralistic Kitty. They make the tale entertaining.

Harriet Klausner