Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Dial Me for Murder

Summary: Paige Turner’s skills as a true crime reporter for Daring Detective magazine have earned her an intriguing job opportunity. Sabrina Stanhope of Gramercy Park wants her to look into the murder of Virginia Pratt—a young secretary whose naked body was found bound and gagged under a pile of autumn leaves in Central Park. Sabrina wants the murderer exposed, but she insists that Paige keep her exclusive investigation off the record and out of the pages of Daring Detective. Why the need for such secrecy? Because Virginia was more than a secretary—she worked nights as a high priced call girl in Sabrina’s employ. Should word get out, the resulting scandal would be devastating, not only to Sabrina’s hush-hush enterprise, but to some of Manhattan’s wealthiest movers and shakers. Now, Paige must become a daring detective herself—even though it means going undercover to entice the interest of a sadistic killer.... -- Berkley Prime Crime

I've had a lot on my mind these past few weeks and my reading has definitely taken a backseat to everything else. My reading hours have been drastically cut and I haven't been able to focus on much of anything. And that's one of the reasons that I love cozies so much -- I can read them even when my life is crazy! The latest book that I read (and enjoyed) was DIAL ME FOR MURDER by Amanda Matetsky.

DIAL ME FOR MURDER was a very fun read for me. I especially liked the setting of the novel. DIAL ME FOR MURDER takes place in 1950s New York City, and I thought the author did a terrific job of describing the details of this time period for the reader. There were loads of cultural references to areas of New York (like Greenwich Village), restaurants (like John's Pizzeria -- one of my personal favorites), television, music, fashion, and books. Not only did I appreciate the pop culture references, but I also liked reading about the current events of that time period. I thought Ms. Matetsky chose a fantastic setting for a murder mystery and she definitely brought that time period to life.

Another fun thing about this novel were the characters. They were all interesting and they definitely kept my interest throughout the entire story. I really liked the narrator of the story Paige Turner (how great is that name for a crime reporter and mystery novelist?), and I liked how she used her skills to solve crimes. She wasn't a tough woman in the strictest sense of the word, but she wasn't afraid to dig in and get her hands dirty if it meant solving a crime. She also had a great sense of humor and I especially appreciated her self-deprecating humor.

In addition to liking Paige, I also found some other characters to be very entertaining. The men that worked with Paige at the magazine were definitely chauvinistic and typical of the time, but I liked how they demonstrated society's (and especially men's) views of women in the 1950s. I also liked her boyfriend Dan who also happened to be a police officer (funny how that always seems to be the case in books like this) and I truly loved Paige's friend Abby who provided quite a few funny moments.

As far as mysteries go, I definitely liked this one... and I didn't figure it out until the very end! There were a few very likely suspects and I went back and forth wondering who the murderer was. All definitely could have been involved because one was an actor, one was a politician and one was a mobster -- how about that for a cast of villains? I appreciated the author's choice of suspects because it further allowed her to capture the essence of that time period.

DIAL ME FOR MURDER is the fifth book in the Paige Turner Mystery series and I wouldn't hesitate to pick up some of the earlier books. I found this book to be an entertaining read and it allowed me to escape for a few hours. It was exactly what I needed!

Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book.
Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Beth F said...

I love fun characters -- and you are so right that cozies are just perfect when the rest of life is crazy.

Karlie said...

Sounds cute and just the book I need right now.

bermudaonion said...

John's Pizza has been around that long? No wonder it's so good. The book sounds like a fun one.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm about to lose my mind. I can't get anything read, I can't get caught up on my reviews, I can't focus. I'm hunting for something short and sweet to get my momentum back. A cozy mystery is just what I need!!!

iwriteinbooks said...

Oh I'm glad this was a fun and welcome distraction!