Twist and Shout Murder
Richmond native Bebe Bennett continues her love affair with New York and her dreams of a love affair with her boss, Bradley, in this second mystery, where 1960s New York City is as prominent a character as Bebe, Bradley, and her roommate Darlene, the swinging stewardess. In this outing, Bradley, a former record executive, now runs Ryan Modeling Agency and has kept Bebe as his executive secretary. Although clothed in the latest fashions that Darlene has brought back from London, Bebe’s miniskirts and white go-go boots aren’t enough to turn Bradley’s attention away from gorgeous but bitchy top model, Suzie Wexford. When Suzie is found dead, strangled with a Pucci scarf (a gift from Bradley), he’s the obvious suspect, and naturally, Bebe feels the police aren’t as invested as she is in clearing his name.
The world of modeling in the sixties doesn’t seem so far removed from what it is today (although there is a marked lack of discussion of models’ weight). In what also seems to be a sly nod to the present, one character is a perfectionist homemaker with her own television show. Bebe is a plucky heroine, in the best sense of that word, not letting anything deter her in clearing the name of the man of her dreams. Friedan and Steinem may not approve, but I have a feeling Bebe can hold her own.