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Death Was in the Blood: A Mystery
by Linda L. Richards
“Death Was in the Blood is as fun and captivating a romp through Prohibition-era shenanigans as Richards’ earlier‚ don’t-miss novels starring the inimitable secretary-cum-shamus‚ Kitty Pangborn. If you love hard-boiled dialogue‚ speakeasy gin‚ and a rollicking‚ good historical mystery‚ don’t be a chump buy this book!” -- Kelli Stanley‚ Macavity Award-winning author of City of Dragons
In the third Kitty Pangborn novel‚ Kitty finds herself challenged by what-might-have-beens. When Dex is charged with finding out who’s threatening a wealthy industrialist’s daughter‚ Kitty discovers herself back in the social class she was raised to‚ only now she’s expected to come in the service entrance. It doesn’t help that the young woman they’ve been hired to look out for doesn’t want Dex and Kitty’s protection: she’s headstrong‚ willful‚ and -- in many ways -- not unlike Kitty herself.
Set against the backdrop of preparation for the 1932 Olympic games‚ Death Was in the Blood takes the reader smack-dab into the lost history of the City of Angels‚ and the point where Kitty discovers what it means to give it up and let it go.
The newest Kitty Pangborn novel will be available from Five Star summer 2013.
Ask for it at your favorite booksellers or preorder the book from Amazon now.
Death Was in the Blood
by Linda L. Richards
“It’s 1931 in Los Angeles, and preparations are being made for next year’s Olympics. It’s the height of the Depression, and when debutante Kitty Pangborn’s father, a single parent, committed suicide on the day the stock market crashed, her days as a pampered rich girl ended. Now she works as a secretary at a detective agency. When her boss, Dex Theroux, gets drunk instead of meeting a new client, Kitty takes the case herself. The very wealthy Matty Sweet is concerned because his girlfriend, Flora Woodruff, a skilled equestrian, has been getting threatening notes. Someone is trying to scare her and prevent her from becoming the first horsewoman to qualify for the Olympics. Soon, Kitty is back in the familiar land of the rich and powerful, but this time as hired help. After Flora’s fine Hanoverian horse, Fritzy, disappears, Kitty poses as Flora’s friend, putting herself directly in harm’s way. Richards has created a memorable character in Kitty Pangborn, and libraries should stock the entire nifty series (Death Was the Other Woman, 2008, and Death Was in the Picture, 2009).” -- Shelley Mosley, Booklist
“Kitty Pangborn might be the best assistant PI Dex Theroux could ever hope for, but she sometimes oversteps and accepts a case without his approval. Nonetheless, Dex takes the job of protecting Flora Woodruff, an Olympic equestrian hopeful, and her horse. Kitty knows the lifestyle, so she shadows Flora; unfortunately, the horse is kidnapped for ransom. Dex and Kitty confront a range of possibilities: local gangsters, a jealous fellow rider, and the local Olympics community. Some folks dreamed big with the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, and they aren’t about to let Flora or her horse get in their way. VERDICT Richards’s Prohibition-era LA comes to life in her third hard-boiled entry (after Death Was in the Picture). With this book’s lickety-split pacing, readers can devour in one sitting. It makes a nice PI pairing with the Robert Galbraith title (see Debut of the Month on page 62). For tone, consider for fans of Denise Hamilton’s The Last Embrace and Kelli Stanley’s San Franciscoset “Miranda Corbie” series.” -- Library Journal
Praise for earlier books in the Kitty Pangborn series:
“Richards’ spot-on portrayal of 1930s California -- the tumultuous social and political atmosphere, the fashions, the vernacular -- make this a must read for palookas, mooks and twists with enough spondulix to spare for some rip-roaring, hard-boiled literary escapism.” -- The Chicago Tribune
“Richards introduces the refreshing heroine Kitty Pangborn, a socialite turned investigator's secretary who's broad in the best possible sense, a cross between meddlesome Torchy Blaine and wordly Nora Charles. The girl Friday helps her hapless P.I. boss solve a murder in Prohibition-era Los Angeles.” -- The National Post
“For something really snappy -- a dandy, old-school hard-boiled detective story, told from the point of view of a tough PI's equally tough secretary -- go no further than Linda L. Richards’ Death Was the Other Woman. -- Seattle Times
“Author Linda Richards has a pair of hard-boiled angels on her shoulders -- names of Spade and Marlowe….Richards writes with wit and sharp dialogue that propels the reader into the Depression era with the ease of a Packard transmission. The descriptive speakeasy atmosphere sparkles with good plotting, pacing as racy as the nightclub scene she describes and a satisfying twist at the end …. I’m not usually a fan of this style, but I loved Death Was the Other Woman, cover to cover, speakeasy to nightclub and crime to solution.” -- The Hamilton Spectator
“Death Was the Other Woman will appeal to fans of historical whodunits as well as devotees of pulp-style fiction a la works by Megan Abbott.” -- Newsday
“A twist to noir.” -- The Windsor Star
“This campy first-person thriller is set in Prohibition-Depression era L.A. Kitty Pangborn works for a P.I. who finds many ways to land them in the soup, as they say.” -- The Sacramento Bee
“A delightful homage to hard-boiled P.I. yarns.” -- Washington C.E.O.
“The author has created an excellent period mystery. The memorable characters combine sharp dialogue and quick wit. Death Was the Other Woman is an entertaining and fun crime novel that kept me guessing to the end.” -- The Joplin Globe
“This is a noir thriller in the classic Dash Hammett/Raymond Chandler mode, only Kitty Pangborn, secretary to PI Dexter Theroux, is not a secondary character.” -- Vancouver Sun, editor’s choice
“Throughout this stellar novel, Richards perfectly evokes the moody lawlessness of Depression-era Los Angeles and the crisp prose of classic noir fiction.” -- The Calgary Herald
“Richards takes the time to fully develop her characters without sacrificing the momentum of the story. Death Was the Other Woman is an entertaining novel that takes you on a thrill ride through the criminal underworld of Depression-era Los Angeles without ever leaving your living room. Her vivid descriptions are as good as a time machine.” -- Saskatoon Star Phoenix
“With a historical period where the balances of power and class have been forcefully tipped, Richards skillfully weaves a plot that hinges on more than whodunnit. Many mystery authors will use a tool of distraction -- a major but ultimately useless personal goal for the main character, a ridiculous romantic interlude, or worse, a massive list of secondary and tertiary characters that simply keep the reader’s head spinning. Quite obviously, this keeps the plot enshrined in mystery but often at the expense of energy and pacing. Richards employs no such distractions. Instead, she creates unfinished personal narratives for a few clear characters and simply confronts their fears, hopes and failures as people at every turn, making their paths cross in unexpected ways. In a sense, she distracts the reader from solving the mystery with her clearly drawn setting and gradually enriched character development. What a concept!” -- Monday Magazine
“This book is virtually guaranteed to keep you up into the wee hours. Moody and atmopheric, it has just the right mix of sympathetic but flawed protaganists, mysterious, sexy clients and lumbering bad guys, coming together in a wonderfully complex plot, all set against the backdrop of Depression-era L.A.” -- The Historical Novels Review