Dial Me for Murder
Review: Amanda Matetsky's fifth book in the Paige Turner mystery series, Dial Me for Murder, has the 1950's era investigative reporter searching for the killer of a young woman found murdered in Central Park.
Paige works for the popular true crime magazine Daring Detective and is the only female reporter in all of Manhattan. In her pursuit of crime stories, she has occasionally been brought face-to-face with some of the city's most dangerous criminals and in a number of cases has outwitted the police in solving murders. The authorities rarely like to be upstaged, especially by a woman, and find Paige a nuisance as well as a profound embarrassment. On Wednesday morning, October 5, 1955, in bold print on page 5, the New York Tribune reported that a young unmarried secretary named Virginia Pratt had been killed Monday night, her nude body found under a mound of leaves in Central Park. Although Paige wants to cover the story, it is assigned to another reporter by her editor. Before noon, however, Paige receives a call asking her to come to the home of Sabrina Stanhope, in upscale Gramercy Park. Sabrina, she learns, is a madam of high priced call girls and Virginia was one of her dearest and most expensive girls. Virginia, known to her Johns as "Melody", was the choice of three of New York's wealthiest, most famous gentlemen. Sabrina is convinced that one of the men killed her. Now, if Paige would agree to tell no one, including her fiancé, Detective Sergeant Dan Street, about her proposed investigation, plus agree to write nothing about it in the magazine, Sabrina would hire Paige, paying her handsomely, to find Virginia's killer before the police do. This, of course, would jeopardize her job with the magazine and her relationship with Dan, not to mention the potential danger it would put her in.
Readers of this delightful book who didn't live during the 1950s will likely fail to fully appreciate the humor displayed in the use of many of the expressions. For those who did it will bring back pleasant memories. The historical perspective is well done and the period depictions of the city make for a wonderful, atmospheric backdrop. With the plot being a nice blend of subtle comedy and light mystery, Dial Me for Murder will keep the reader engaged in the story and guessing until the very end.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Dial Me for Murder.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Dial Me for Murder for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Dial Me for Murder: Manhattan, New York City
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Dial Me for Murder by Amanda Matetsky — A Paige Turner Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: September 2008
List Price: $6.99