From Publishers Weekly
Set in Hollywood in 1931, Richardss swell follow-up to Death Was the Other Woman
(2008) finds ace-in-the-hole secretary Kitty Pangborn still lifting as much of the load as her PI boss, Dex Theroux, who has a tendency to spend his afternoons with all the boys: Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Jose Cuervo. Fortunately, Dex is sober when a mysterious man hires him, on behalf of a group of concerned citizens, to observe movie star Laird Wyndham, whose morality is suspect. Dex senses a setup, confirmed when Wyndham is arrested for a starlets murder. The turnaround is complete when Wyndham hires Dex to clear him. Richards handles the slang and patois of the period neatly. Likewise, she paints a vivid picture of the contrast between those just scraping by during the Depression and those living high on the hog. Kitty has plenty of moxie, and while Dex gets top billing on the office door, shes no second banana in this class act. (Jan.)
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Kitty Pangborn was once a child of privilege. The crash of 1929 destroyed that illusion when her father committed suicide and left her with a fine Los Angeles home and no money. She makes do with boarders and a job as the secretary for competent, if alcoholic, private investigator Dexter Theroux. Hollywood star Laird Wyndham has survived the transition from silents to talkies, thanks to his regal bearing and deep voice. A mysterious man hires Theroux to tail Wyndham. No details. Just follow him. The first assignment is a Hollywood party, where a young ingénue is murdered. Wyndham, seen leaving the room in which her body was found, is quickly arrested. Complications with the original client loom when Wyndham hires Dex to find the killer and determine who set Wyndham up and why. The second Pangborn-Theroux caper builds nicely on the hard-boiled 1930s milieu established in Death Was the Other Woman (2008). Readers will unconsciously set their mind’s eye to play in black and white as they follow the sometimes funny, often melancholy adventures of two savvy Depression-era survivors. --Wes Lukowsky