Let's get the subjective part of the review out of the way first thing: Sandra Scoppettone's This Dame for Hire is hands-down the hippest, laugh-out-loud funniest and most entertaining novel I've read this month. The dame in question is Faye Quick, girl Friday for Woody Mason, a Greenwich Village private investigator. The date is 1943. Mason has gone off to serve in the Pacific, and the feisty Miss Quick (these days she would be Ms. ) has been left to hold down the fort. Rather more quick than fey, our heroine is steeped in the lingo of the war years: guys are mugs or lugs; girls are babes or tomatoes; the A-train would do if the flivver was laid up, and a fin or a sawbuck would buy a clue. In the midst of all this atmosphere resides a clever and convoluted plot that Raymond Chandler would be proud of. If you are a fan of The Thin Man (the cinema version, with William Powell and Myrna Loy), Richard Prather's Shell Scott novels, or '40s mystery magazines, don't miss This Dame for Hire. (p.s.: My casting pick for the Faye Quick role is Debi Mazar: sharp, pretty and oh-so New Yawk.)

comments powered by Disqus