“Her name was Gertie Malinowki and she hailed from the wrong side of the tracks when she asked Michael Dundas for a job. Voice culture and chi-chi clothes made the original Gertie unrecognizable as movie starlet Greta Mallon when she swept into Michael’s office during an ‘incognito’ trip to San Francisco.
“Greta did not mean her expressed desire to ‘get away from it all’ for a few days to be taken literally and mean getting away from it forever—but that is what happened when she left her own somewhat riotous open house cocktail party for a somewhat mysterious unspecified date.
“For Michael, who combines his high style dress designing business with an avocation for sleuthing, matters are complicated by the absence of his favorite members of the police force. He enters the case, not as a cooperative helper, but as a likely suspect whom Inspector Hoyt would like nothing better than to clap in jail. Gertie—or Greta’s—past pursues her to and even beyond her death and leads Michael, along with his trailer turned pal, “Sam” Weller, into parts of San Francisco that are never mentioned by the Chamber of Commerce.
“Virginia Rath knows her town to the last cobblestone and makes it—sinister, storied, or beautiful—add color to a plot in which Michael, the two-fisted he-man dress designer with a temper and a sense of humor equally cocked with no safety device, pulls no punches, but lots of surprises out of his hat.” (Oakland, California, Tribune, December 7, 1947)
A Dirge for Her was published in 1947.
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