A Dangerous Fiction
Review: After literary agent Jo Donovan rejects a manuscript from an anonymous author, one she dubs "Sam Spade", her small agency begins to receive vicious e-mails and letters signed "Can you hear me now?" in A Dangerous Fiction, the first in a new series by Barbara Rogan.
Jo is the owner of Hamish and Donovan Literary Agency in New York City, and by sheer determination, she has transitioned from her backwoods roots in Kentucky to be one of the most influential agents in the city. She is assisted by Chloe, a new intern named Jean-Paul, and Lorna, the office secretary. A small agency, but a respected one. When the "Sam Spade" messages start getting sent to her clients, she becomes increasingly nervous. Though she had only met him once, when he thrust the manuscript into her hands, he was wearing a belted trench coat and a fedora pulled down tight over his brow. She wouldn't recognize him again. And yet she seems to feel his presence wherever she goes. But it isn't until Rowena Blair, he most prolific novelist, is murdered with "Can you hear me now?" printed using her blood that the police realize the danger she's in. And though promised protection by the authorities, she feels most secure with Mingus, a black German Shepherd ex-police dog that one of her authors loans her. But Mingus can't protect her agency partner, Molly Hamish, who is the next victim of Sam Spade. How far will this disgruntled would-be author go before he is heard?
A Dangerous Fiction is a nicely crafted murder mystery, one in which the reader is sure who "Sam Spade" is until … maybe he isn't. That's just one of the many twists in this fast-paced book, one that moves from one New York celebrity hot spot to the next, and one that combines clever wit and humor with a very special dog, whose own personality matches — and sometimes exceeds — that of his human companions. This is a fine and very strong start to a promising series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of A Dangerous Fiction.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of A Dangerous Fiction for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in A Dangerous Fiction: New York City
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A Dangerous Fiction by Barbara Rogan — A Jo Donovan Mystery
Publication Date: July 2013
List Price: $26.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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