Murder on a Hot Tin Roof

I received the first four Paige Turner mysteries by Amanda Matetsky a few years ago but spread them out. Murder on a Hot Tin Roof is the fourth in the series and by this point the characters have been pretty firmly established. The books (complete with darling covers and punny titles) are set in 1950s Manhattan, where Korean war widow Paige Turner does grunt work for the true crime magazine Daring Detective.

In this installment Paige’s best bud Abby has tickets to see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , in which her friend Gray Gordon is making his understudy debut. He knocks the crowd dead; unfortunately someoe does the same to him the following day. Since she and Abby found the body Paige feels obliged to investigate, of course!

In general I’m not a huge fan of first person, especially as mysteries. Nancy Drew was fearless; Paige is also willing to do anything for a case but quakes in her heels the whole time, and lets the reader know it. With her one-track mind she is often overly critical of Abby’s varied interests, though luckily her friend is quick to forgive and offer a drink. Despite this, I find Paige very likable. Her misdemeanors are always well-intentioned, and she is a whiz at coming up with cover stories.

A subplot in this book revolved around the homosexual community, both separate from and connected to the theatre. On the one hand Matetsky is accurate in portraying the prejudices of the times; on the other, Paige is instantly accepting of Willy and comes to regard him as a true friend. As always happens with sensitive issues, however, the question arises as to whether something is a stereotype or something that happens to be true for a particular character, like Willy dressing in pink silk.

I’m a huge fan of this time period, and Amanda Matetsky has clearly done her research. As a plus, on her website you can view the images she used for character inspiration.

There is only one more book in the series, and I think I’m a little glad. The non-mystery plots already seemed to advance some at the end of this book. It wouldn’t be plausible to drag out the adventures much further or else they would risk becoming stagnant. Cozy mysteries can jump the shark just as easily as TV shows!

This book counts for the 9 for 09 Challenge, in the category “Cover.”

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Published in: on June 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Murder on a Hot Tin Roof, by Amanda Matetsky (the covers for this 50’s-based series are just darling!) Possibly […]

  2. Thanks for being a part of 9 for ’09 challenge!

    I love the cover also.

    If I think of any books set in the 1950s, I’ll send you an email.

  3. […] Amanda Matetsky’s Paige Turner was working for Daring Detective ten years earlier, Faye Quick would have been her idol. This Dame […]

  4. […] Murder on a Hot Tin Roof, by Amanda […]


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