Today in January Magazine, an excerpt of Death Was the Other Woman by Linda L. Richards. 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 P.I.s 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 what side of the law she’s on. Booklist says:
“Using a female narrator for a Depression-era noir tale seems a calculated strategy, but Richards makes it work naturally. Kitty, whose life of privilege disappeared when her father killed himself after the 1929 stock market crash, brings a peculiarly ironic point of view, filtering the tough guys, broads, gats, and gunsels through a patrician context that makes all the hard-boiled posturing seem as silly as high-society tomfoolery. Honoring the noir tradition while turning it on its head, Richards’ richly detailed period portrays a world in which lifestyles, whether high or low, become an elaborate defense against a harsh environment in which there is only one final act and the trick is to determine the time the curtain falls. Expect to hear more from Kitty Pangborn.”
January has the excerpt here.