Murder is a Girl’s Best Friend
Paige Turner, the intrepid but unfortunately-named heroine of Murderers Prefer Blondes, is back in her second outing, amateur sleuthing in 1950s New York City. It’s Christmas, 1954, and Terry Catcher, her late husband’s war buddy, has come to Paige looking for her help in finding his sister’s killer. All Terry has is his sister’s secret stash of diamonds and a few names to go on. In memory of her husband, Paige takes the case, enlisting both Terry and friend and neighbor, bohemian painter Abby Moscowitz, in aiding her investigations. Her efforts to keep her activities hidden from her boyfriend Detective Dan Street and her boss and co-workers at Daring Detective (the magazine where she is more dogsbody than reporter) cause tension, and Paige discovers she is getting dangerously close to the truth when attempts are made on her life.
Matetsky is especially adept at bringing 1950s New York to life, when the old order was starting to change. The Beats are permeating Greenwich Village, and Abby is a cheerful proponent of free love, but at Daring Detective, it’s still an old boys club where Paige must get there before the men to make the coffee – and woe betide her if she is not. The murder mystery mystery takes a backseat to this evocative portrait. I look forward to Paige’s third adventure.