File M for Murder

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An office temp's six-week stint at a New York firm blossoms into-what else?-murder and romance with a police detective. Cornelia Upshaw may be a temp, but she's a Superior Being. Widowed this side of 30 by an insufferable southern husband, she's passed up lots of long-term offers to stay with an agency that offers her full medical coverage and her three-year-old daughter free daycare. She likes the freedom of being able to walk off jobs that aren't working out and the security that comes from knowing she's the best secretary in the building. What she likes best, though, is talking about herself, her apartment, her sister Lizard, her family history, her fondness for romances and mysteries, and the niceties of her sudden, intimate relationship with Lt. Victor Kosciusko, who's investigating the death by cyanide of J. Abercrombie Davis, Cornelia's boss's boss. Since Cornelia, who freshens the cliches she ascribes to other people by capitalizing them (a device that Gets Old Fast), doesn't care a fig for Dayborne Ventures' late Vice President of Corporate Restructuring and Accounts or any of the suspects who survive him, very little happens here to interrupt the flow of archly self-infatuated wit. Cornelia repeatedly interrupts her amateur sleuthing debut with reminders that this is Real Life, Not a Novel. Readers seeking a new novel from biblical romancer Edghill (Wisdom's Daughter, p. 761, etc.) are hereby warned. Agent: Anna Ghosh/Scovil Chichak Galen Literary Agency
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exhilarating investigative tale

    Following the death of her husband a southern Peter Pan, Cornelia Upshaw and her three year old daughter Heather relocate from Savannah to live with her artist sister in Manhattan. Not needing to pay rent, Cornelia works as a temp for Metropolitan Office Professionals, a firm that finds her short term secretarial work and provides child care services.--- Cornelia currently works for Dayborne Ventures Executive Vice President J. Abercrombie Davis, a control freak of the worst order. Half way through her six week stint, Davis¿ office remains closed all day until Cornelia tries to reach him via the intercom. When they go into his office they find him dead. Lieutenant Victor Kosciusko and Detective Charlie Morton investigate when the autopsy reveals that the deceased was poisoned. Victor and Cornelia surprise themselves because of an immediate attraction that must remain on hold until the investigation is completed, but a killer stalks the office with Cornelia on the short list for interfering with another murder attempt.--- This exhilarating investigative tale takes its time to introduce Cornelia, the center that holds the tale together. Once the murder occurs, the story line takes off on two planes that of a classic police procedural aided by an amateur sleuth who learned what to do by reading mystery novels. The cast makes this Manhattan murder mystery a fine novel and hopefully as India Edghill proves once again no one does heroic females better than she does.--- Harriet Klausner

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