Friday, May 2, 2008

"Roux Morgue"

Claire M. Johnson's first novel, Beat Until Stiff, was nominated for an Agatha for Best First and won the 1999 Malice Domestic Writers Grant.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her recently released second novel, Roux Morgue, and reported the following:
Pretty nice for me that page 69 of my book says just enough about my character to get you a thumbnail sketch of my protagonist. Mary Ryan is feisty, smart, and a little pig-headed. She's not a rule breaker per se, but she's also not the sort of person who lets rules stand in her way.

In the second installment of this series, Mary Ryan finds herself teaching back at her old alma mater in San Francisco. The city plays a minor character in this book. San Francisco is a food town, with more restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States. Not evident from reading this particular page is that this book has a lot of commentary about the food scene on the west coast, the food business itself, and what a pain in the neck it is to find parking. Mary Ryan barely has time to finish buttoning up her chef's jacket before she finds herself knee deep in murder, breaking and entering, money-laundering, blackmail, professional sabotage, and computer hacking. Business as usual.

This is not your usual cookbook mystery; there are no recipes in the back. But if you like snarky, witty protagonists who can wield a knife, this book is yours to savor.
Learn more about Roux Morgue and its author at Claire M. Johnson's website and her blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue