Tuesday, January 8, 2008

"Death Was the Other Woman"

Linda L. Richards is the editor and co-founder of January Magazine and a regular contributor to The Rap Sheet.

Her books include three novels in the Madeline Carter series and, releasing today, Death Was the Other Woman. She applied the Page 69 Test to the new book and reported the following:
Page 69 of Death Was the Other Woman is the very end of chapter 11, so there’s only about half a page of text. It’s a zippy half page, though: it’s dialog and though it seems as though not much is going on, there’s a lot that’s unsaid.

Also, page 69 says a lot about the relationship between our narrating protagonist, Kitty Pangborn, and her boss of the louche life, the gumshoe Dexter Theroux. Page 69 is not the most illuminating snippet from early in the book, but it gets the job done:

… and it’ll seem less fishy, a good-looking couple like us out on the town, instead of me waltzing in there stag, asking questions no one wants to answer.”

My hands flew to my dress. “I don’t have anything to wear,” I said.

Dex just grinned. “You’ll think of something. I’ll pick you up at your place at nine.”

I started to get up, my mind already rummaging through my meager wardrobe, when another thought hit me.

“Why, Dex?” I asked him. “The guy you were supposed to be tailing is dead. You don’t even have a case anymore.”

“That’s true,” he agreed, without hesitation. “But Rita gave me eighty-three bucks. I offered her part of it back. She wouldn’t take it. I feel like I oughta do more for the money. Besides, you said he’s dead. His wife says he ain’t. And the body we saw is gone. Doesn’t it make you wonder?”

I shrugged and then I nodded. When I thought about it, it kind of did.
Visit the official Death Was the Other Woman website.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue