Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Morgue Mama rides again

Just finished Dig, by CR Corwin, the second Morgue Mama book starring Hannawa Herald-Union librarian Maddy Sprowls. This time she's investigating the murder of Gordon Sweet, university professor of garbology and fellow college beatnik in the Fifties - does it involve illegal dumping at the local tip, a campus murder in 1957 or a 40-year argument over Jack Kerouac's burger of choice?

Maddy's definitely old school (she has a stash of old cuttings files in her basement and refuses to use a computer - she wouldn't last two minutes in a news library these days), and catchphrases like, "Good gravy!" wear thin quickly, but it's hard not to like her. It feels authentic; when a junior reporter describes Maddy as a "desk-bound gnome who watches over the morgue", you just know the author has worked at a newspaper (Rob Levandoski, who uses the pen-name, was a reporter for several years). There are a few unnecessary subplots, but the story rolls along at a reasonable pace and it's nice to read a novel where the librarian is the central character, even if there are a few clich├ęs thrown in.

Dig, as well as the first book, The Cross Kisses Back, are published by Poisoned Pen Press.

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