This Dame for Hire

A Novel

Publisher: Ballantine Books
"I didn’t start out to be a private eye. I thought I was gonna be a secretary–get my boss his java in the morning, take letters, and so on. Hell, I didn’t get my degree in steno to put my life on the line. It was true I wanted an interesting job, but that I’d end up a PI myself . . . it never entered my mind."

New York, 1943. Almost anything in pants has gone to serve Uncle Sam in the war–including Woody Mason, the head of a detective agency in midtown Manhattan. Left to run the show is his secretary, Faye Quick, who signed on to be a steno, not a shamus. At twenty-six and five foot four, there’s not much to Faye, but she’s got moxie–which she’ll need when she stumbles over a dead girl in the street and takes on her first murder case.

This victim wasn’t any ordinary girl. Claudette West was a student at NYU and the daughter of a Park Avenue family. Faye, who lives in bohemian Greenwich Village–where no one cares how you look–ventures uptown, where people care enough about money to kill for it. Claudette’s father is convinced greed was the motive, and that Claudette’s working-class boyfriend, Richard Cotten, killed the girl because she threw him off the gravy train.

Faye, however, isn’t so sure, not when she learns about all the other men Claudette was secretly seeing–from her lecherous literature professor to an apparent con artist. For Faye, there are more shocking surprises in store than turns and dips in the Coney Island Cyclone.

Going after the bad guys and fighting a good fight on the home front, Faye is as scrappy and endearing as any character Sandra Scoppettone has ever created, and This Dame for Hire’s period setting is rendered so real you can hear the big band music, see the nylons and fedoras, and feel the rumble of the Third Avenue El. When it comes to an irresistible detective and a riveting new series, you must remember this: Here’s looking at Faye Quick.


From the Hardcover edition.

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I didn’t start out to be a private eye. I thought I was gonna be a secretary—get my boss his java in the morning, take letters, and so on. Hell, I didn’t get my degree in steno to put my life on the line. It was true I wanted an interesting job, but that I’d end up a PI myself...
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PRAISE FOR

Advance praise for This Dame for Hire

“Like Rosie the Riveter, Faye Quick is another blue-collar woman doing a man’s job during World War II, except that Miss Quick is a New York dick–Sam Spade in lipstick and stockings. Sandra Scoppettone’s new mystery is a time-warped stroll back through a noir pulp novel, and it’s a true tour de force.”
–MARGARET MARON

“I love This Dame for Hire. Private investigator Faye Quick is a wonderful original, a unique new voice in crime fiction. And Sandra Scoppettone has captured the lingo and the essence of New York City during World War II.”
–ANNETTE MEYERS

“All the synonyms for quick–snappy, brisk, witty, smart–apply to Sandra Scoppettone’s new character Faye Quick. This dame’s as likable a New Yorker as you’re apt to find outside da Bronx.”
–LAURIE KING


“Sandra Scoppettone’s fresh and funny This Dame for Hire launches an endearing sleuth who wisecracks, totes a gat when needed, and tells it like she sees it in a superbly rendered World War II Manhattan. Ya gotta love smart-mouthed Faye Quick, and I predict readers will adore her.”
–CAROLYN HART

“Spending time with This Dame for Hire is like time traveling to the 1940s–and hearing a great and entertaining mystery on the family radio. Sandra Scoppettone doesn’t merely write about New York during World War II, she takes us there–and every minute of the trip is believable and enjoyable. Faye Quick is a terrific, sassy new voice. Let’s hope for more of her–quickly!”
–GILLIAN ROBERTS

“This first novel in a major new series set in New York City during World War II features a female gumshoe who’s a little bit Myrna Loy and a little bit Philip Marlowe’s younger sister–but very much her own woman. Funny, tender, historically fascinating, This Dame for Hire has something for mystery readers of every kind.”
–ED GORMAN


“What a voice This Dame has! It’s 1943, and the world-weary gumshoe has gone off to war, turning the detective agency over to his gum-snapping, wisecracking secretary. Think Joan Blondell, PI, and you’ve got the picture. New York is here in all its noir glory, from fancy uptown digs to bohemian Greenwich Village. I hope to see a lot more of Faye Quick–she’s irresistible!”
–S. J. ROZAN

“Faye Quick is a terrific character--honest, forthright, and funny. And seen through her eyes, New York City in 1943 is a great place to visit.”
–NANCY PICKARD


From the Hardcover edition.