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Fiction Women Sleuths

Death Was the Other Woman

A Mystery

by (author) Linda L. Richards

Initial publish date
Jan 2008
Women Sleuths
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2008
    List Price

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Out of print

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As the lawlessness of Prohibition pushes against the desperation of the Depression, there are two ways to make a living in Los Angeles: join the criminals or collar them. Kitty Pangborn has chosen the crime-fighters, becoming secretary to Dexter J. Theroux, one of the hard-drinking, tough-talking PIs who pepper the city's stew. But after Dex takes an assignment from Rita Heppelwaite, the mistress of Harrison Dempsey, one of L.A.'s shadiest--and richest--businessmen, Kitty isn't so sure whatside of the law she's on. Rita suspects Dempsey has been stepping out and asks Dex to tail him. It's an easy enough task, but Dex's morning stroll with Johnnie Walker would make it tough for him to trail his own shadow. Kitty insists she go along for the ride, keeping her boss--and hopefully her salary--safe. However, she's about to realize that there's something far more unpleasant than a three-timing husband at the end of this trail, and that there's more at risk than her paycheck. Richly satisfying and stylishly gritty,Death Was the Other Womangives a brand-new twist to the hard-boiled style, revealing that while veteran PIs like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe spent their time slugging scotch and wooing women, it may well have been the Girl Fridays of the world who really cracked the cases.

About the author

Linda L. Richards is a journalist and award-winning author. She is the founding editor of January Magazine, one of the Web’s most respected voices about books. She is also the author of six novels and several works of nonfiction and is on the faculty of the Simon Fraser University Summer Publishing Workshops. In 2010, Richards’ novel Death Was in the Picture won the Panik Award for Best Los Angeles-Based Noir. Linda can be found at and @lindalrichards.

Linda L. Richards' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"You're about to meet a great new dame of crime fiction inDeath Was the Other Woman. Linda L. Richards has created a stunning character with a voice and eye right out of a 1930s L.A. hard-boiled classic - guns and gams, booze and bodies, peepers and perps. Move over, Sam Spade - Kitty Pangborn's on the case."--LINDA FAIRSTEIN, author ofDeath Dance

"ReadingDeath Was the Other Woman was like stumbling across a long-lost and wonderful Orson Welles flick. It's a pitch-perfect story of Depression-era L.A. that's so damn good I recommend calling in sick to work and making a plate of sandwiches before you start reading, because you won't want to put it down for anything--including such petty concerns as food, drink, sleep, and oncoming Packards and locomotives."--CORNELIA READ, author ofA Field of Darkness

Death Was the Other Woman propelled me straight into Depression-era Los Angeles, a really stunning and exciting achievement. And the murder kept me guessing right to the page turning end.  On top of that, the lively characters have walked off the page and now pursue me long after I've closed the book. A really stellar crime caper, a delight.”--LOUISE PENNY, author ofStill Life

"With crackling dialogue, a Tommy-gun plot, and bang-on authenticity,Death Was the Other Woman engrossed me in a terrific, compelling mystery. With memorable characters and settings, Richards manages to dig beneath the surface of Prohibition-era Los Angeles and give a sense of its historical context. A great read!"--DANIEL KALLA, author ofPandemic andBlood Lies

“Sharp, vibrant, and crackling. One chapter in to Linda L. Richards’ sparkling 1930s Los Angeles mystery,Death Was the Other Woman, and we’d follow her smart, resourceful, spirited heroine, Kitty Pangborn, down any dark alley, any mean street."--MEGAN ABBOTT, author ofThe Song is You andQueenpin

“Kitty Pangborn, the narrator of Linda Richards' winning new mystery,Death Was the Other Woman, is just what every underachieving, over-imbibing, minimally employed, and maximally hard-boiled PI needs: that is, a decent secretary. …Death Was the Other Woman is a first-rate, rousing new take on the Southern California detective novel. Let's hope it's the beginning of a long series."--DYLAN SCHAFFER, author ofI Right the Wrongs

"Linda L. Richards can grab her readers better than a slap in the puss or a slug from a forty-five. She breathes new life into the L.A. noir genre with an array of fresh characters and stylishly seedy neon-lit dives. More importantly, she moves the gritty crime genre on in the form of Kitty Pangborn, a well brought up young lady who gets a crash course in the dark underbelly of the City of Angels. She may be a longsuffering PA to a less than successful PI, but Kitty is no kitten. She's the broad with the brains, and readers will be left clamoring for more."--BRENDAN FOLEY, author ofUnder the Wire, director ofThe Riddle

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