Berkley, July 2003, 5.99, 304 pp.
After eloping, Bob and Paige Turner moved into a small Brooklyn apartment for a month of connubial bliss before he went to boot camp and ended up in a firefight in Korea where he got killed. Two and a half years later, his widow Paige is living in a small duplex apartment on Delancey Street working as an editorial assistant for Daring Detective magazine. Paige's real goal is to be a staff writer and create true crime stories but in 1954 women were regarded as capable of only being office help.
When Babs Costock's murdered body is found in Woolworth's and her picture is run in the newspapers, Paige recognizes her as a woman who came to the magazine's office in the hopes of getting a job modeling for the cover. Paige thinks she's found the story that can get her a promotion so she starts investigating the victim's life. She learns the down side of a case of her own as her life is threatened more than once by various characters who want her to stop snooping.
The first Paige Turner mystery is a real page-turner. Anyone who has lived in New York City in the fifties will realize that the author has captured the essence of the time and place. The protagonist is a gutsy and strong willed woman who refuses to let the male dominated power elite keep her down or stop her from getting what she wants. MURDERERS PREFER BLONDES is a delightful historical amateur sleuth tale that is very atmospheric and plays up the nostalgia angle.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner