Manhattan, 1938. Tired of being trapped in the gilded cage of her family’s expectations, Elizabeth Adams has done what no self-respecting socialite would think to do: She’s gotten herself a job. Although Elizabeth’s dream is to one day see her photographs on the front page of the Daily Trumpet, for now she’s working her way up as the newsroom’s gal Friday.
But fetching coffee isn’t exactly her idea of fun. So when veteran reporter Ralph Kaminsky needs a photographer to fill in for a last-minute assignment, Elizabeth jumps at the chance. At the Waldorf Hotel, Elizabeth is tasked with tracking down the season’s “It girl,” Gloria DeWitt, who will be making her society debut. Working her own connections to New York’s upper crust, Elizabeth manages to land an exclusive interview with Gloria.
Then Gloria’s stepmother is shot dead in a Waldorf bathroom, placing Elizabeth at the scene of a headline-worthy scandal: “Murder of a Society Dame.” Now Elizabeth will have to get the scoop on the killer before her good name gets dragged through the gossip columns—or worse. . . .
Elizabeth Adams will return in Murder, She Uncovered!
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Read an Excerpt
It was six-thirty at night and Elizabeth Adams was still at her desk. The newsroom was comparatively quiet—the usual cacophony of clattering typewriter keys absent for the time being.
Most of the reporters had fled to a tenement building on Eighth Avenue where a man was holed up in a standoff with the police. He’d just killed his wife and was threatening to kill himself.
Elizabeth shivered. She rubbed the back of her neck and stared at the piece of paper protruding from her typewriter. Her bones ached from the cold and she was hungry. She wondered why she had thought it would be glamorous to have a job.
Instead of sitting in this drafty newsroom, she could be resting comfortably in her family’s Madison Avenue apartment listening to the radio or reading a magazine and waiting for Mrs. Murphy to put one of her excellent dinners on the table.
Elizabeth’s mother had been horrified when Elizabeth told her about the job—crying and twisting her monogrammed lace handkerchief between her fingers and asking why on earth Elizabeth couldn’t be more like Helen Cummings’s daughter Dorothy, who was engaged to Humphrey Van Alstyne and spent her time planning her wedding. How was she ever going to explain to her friends that her daughter was not only working—she said the word as if it left a foul taste in her mouth—but working for some ghastly newspaper.
A woman was meant to only have her name in the paper three times in her life, her mother reminded her—when she was born, when she married and when she died. It certainly wasn’t meant to appear under some sordid photograph on the front page.
Elizabeth had laughed and assured her mother that it would be many years before she had a credit line and probably many more years after that before she landed a picture on the front page.
Even Mrs. Murphy had gone pale when she asked why Elizabeth had come to the breakfast table with her hat already on, rushing through her boiled egg, and Elizabeth replied that she had a job and mustn’t be late.
Elizabeth groaned and put her fingers back on the keys. She had had the crazy idea that she could right social injustices and further truth by working for a newspaper. So far she had been relegated to the role of office gal Friday fetching coffee, running copy to the editor, checking sources. She sighed. She knew she had to pay her dues.
The air stirred and the scent of Tabu wafted toward her. She looked up to see Estelle Draper bearing down on her. Elizabeth hastily put her head down and pecked out a few more words.
Estelle was wearing a brown-and-white tweed suit with a nipped-in waist and a brooch on the lapel. Dark-rimmed glasses dangled from a gold chain around her neck.
Estelle was the women’s editor for the Daily Trumpet. She had made it clear from the beginning that she didn’t like her position as the only woman in the office usurped.
Elizabeth had taken pains to win Estelle over, bringing her a nickel cup of coffee from Horn & Hardart in the morning or a piece of lemon meringue pie from Schrafft’s when she learned it was Estelle’s birthday.
Estelle stopped beside Elizabeth’s desk and rapped it sharply with the yellow pencil in her hand.
“Almost,” Elizabeth mumbled, keeping her eyes on the paper protruding from her typewriter.
She hoped Estelle wouldn’t notice how little she’d done. She’d engaged in a bit of hyperbole when she’d told the paper she could type, and she was laboriously picking out each letter of Estelle’s “Dear Miss Draper” column that ran in the paper every day under Estelle’s byline.
Dear Miss Draper, Elizabeth read. My fiancé and I have broken it off. Do I have to give the engagement ring back?
Damned if I know, Elizabeth thought as she pecked out a few more words.
The scent of Tabu faded and was replaced by a sulfurous odor. Elizabeth sniffed the air. Eggs. It smelled like eggs. Her stomach grumbled.
She turned around to see Ralph Kaminsky, one of the veteran reporters, taking a sandwich out of its waxed paper wrapping. Elizabeth knew without asking that it was egg salad on rye with sliced onions. So far she had never seen Kaminsky eat anything else. He’d chase it down with cold coffee left in the thick white mug on his desk and then follow that up with a cigarette.
She wondered why he wasn’t with all the other reporters racing to Connecticut in an attempt to beat one another to the story that was bound to be on the front page of every paper in town. Crime was his beat—this story was right up his alley.
Elizabeth didn’t know much about Kaminsky—only that he lived alone, had been with the Daily Trumpet since he was a kid hired to sweep the floors and that every afternoon at four o’clock on the dot—unless he was off chasing a story—he left his desk in the newsroom to head to the bar across the street for a shot of Old Schenley’s and a cold Budweiser chaser.
As far as Elizabeth could tell, Kaminsky lived for his job, ready to sally forth into the city, day or night, to report on wretched stories of murder, theft and the more horrific cases of assault and battery.
Kaminsky was all sharp edges—bony elbows and knees—with gray hair that stood up like the bristles on a brush and a long face with a prominent nose and purple circles, like bruises, under his eyes.
The telephone on Kaminsky’s desk rang, and he grabbed it. He muttered a couple of words, sputtering bits of his egg salad sandwich into the air.
Elizabeth cringed and looked away. Kaminsky scared her a little. He was blunt to the point of being rude and had no use for women invading what he viewed as the male domain of the newsroom.
“That crumb!” Kaminsky yelled as he slammed the receiver down so hard it jumped out of the cradle and hung alongside his desk, swaying back and forth, the dial tone blaring.
“Anybody know how to work one of these?”
Elizabeth turned around again to see Kaminsky brandishing a camera.
She hesitated then raised her hand. “I do.”
Kaminsky looked startled then barked. “Get your hat and coat. Sullivan’s got the flu and Gloria DeWitt is making her debut at the Waldorf, and all predictions point to her being the ‘It Girl’ of the decade. Boss wants pictures and a story.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.5vstars MURDER, SHE REPORTED by Peg Cochran is a lovely historical cozy mystery set in 1938 New York City. We follow along as young socialite turned newspaper “girl Friday” Elizabeth “Biz” Adams, after getting a break photographing a coming out ball, navigates her way through the various subcultures of NYC of the time to get to the bottom of the murder of her fellow socialite’s mother. Cochran paints a realistic picture of the era where there is such a huge contrast between the haves and the have nots during the Great Depression. The characters, though a bit clichéd, are well developed and believable. Though initially naïve, Elizabeth possesses a determined spirit and practical nature that helps her to succeed. Seasoned reporter Kaminsky is a nice foil for Elizabeth’s polish. Her society friends are all pretty distasteful and shallow to me, and her childhood friend Irene’s plight is heartbreaking. The pace is good, and the mystery interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. There are several suspects along the way and a few twists and turns to keep me guessing for a good portion of the story. There are some instances where trivial bits are thrown in, such as nail polish brand and songs playing in the background, that I assume are supposed to lend period authenticity to the tale but instead disrupt the narrative. I enjoyed MURDER, SHE REPORTED and recommend it to fans of Cochran’s other series and readers looking for a plucky heroine and interesting historical era. I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
Murder, She Reported is a fabulous story. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Elizabeth "Biz" Adams, Gal Friday and impromptu photographer for the Daily Trumpet. At a time (1930s) when a wealthy, high-society woman most certainly did not go out and get a job, Elizabeth does just that. Her determination to exercise her independence is refreshing, but not everything is rosy. I'll leave that teaser right there because I wouldn't want to spoil anything for anyone. The overall story is so much fun, and I enjoyed all the musical references of the time. Elizabeth had a pampered upbringing, but she's not afraid of hard work, even if that means taking incriminating pictures of a society acquaintance and taking pictures of dead bodies. There's no room for queasiness in the life of a newspaper photographer. With the help of her mentor at the paper, Kaminsky, Elizabeth embarks on a career where her connections and upbringing are a bonus rather than a hindrence. When someone is murdered, thes two don two hats: news reporters and detectives, at a time when flashing a press pass opened doors and provided a front-row seat to all the action, no questions asked. The characters are quite memorable, even the minor ones, and the plot is both unique and intriguing. For me, the best part of Murder, She Reported is that while Elizabeth comes from money, she is far from perfect. I like that the author has given Elizabeth a lasting limp from Polio, showing that even the wealthy can be devastated by illness. This characterization is real life and believable. Elizabeth is also caught between two worlds: high society and the working class, allowing her to see the best and the worst of both groups. And a budding attraction to a certain detective who definitely feels the same way adds another fun layer to this story. The murder mystery is woven throughout, but I must admit that I loved all the photography assignments Kaminsky dragged Elizabeth to because the rapport between these two is delightful. Kaminsky is actually my favorite character! I hope this will be a series!
a fantastic start to a new series MURDER, SHE REPORTED by Peg Cochran The First Murder, She Reported Mystery It's Manhattan in 1938 and Elizabeth Adams believes there's more to life than hosting parties and looking for a "suitable" husband. While her parents are aghast, Elizabeth is happy to be working at a newspaper, although being a Girl Friday isn't exactly what she had in mind. But her time in the Wellesley photography club pays off when Elizabeth fills in as a photographer for veteran reporter Ralph Kaminsky. Their trip cover to a high society debut turns into a crime story when the "It" girl finds her stepmother shot to death in the ladies room. As Elizabeth and Kaminsky pursue the story will they scoop the news, or will Elizabeth face social ruin...or worse? MURDER, SHE REPORTED shows the dichotomy of New York City in 1938.The effects of the stock market crash and the possibility of war color this world, imbuing it with a sense of gravitas. Yet there is still a sense of style and glamour. Its inhabitants struggling not only to make do, but to flourish. Elizabeth "Biz" Adams is the perfect protagonist straddling both worlds, that of the haves and the have nots. She's a wealthy young woman who has drive and ambition and is open to new things is a world coming to terms with itself. Author, Peg Cochran skillfully brings Biz out of her comfort zone and we witness Biz's reactions as her world grows. The relationship between Biz and Kaminsky is wonderful, the veteran reporter and the new kid. And what a character Kaminsky is! His drive, street smarts, and fun idiosyncrasies make him a joy to read. And I'm not just saying that because he has a variation of my last name! He and Biz make a great duo. I love the historical detail. The description of the Waldorf Hotel, the Chock full o'Nuts, and the various foods and fashion of the time really paint a picture in my mind and I feel as if I'm there. I'd love to try the Stork Club Cocktail! MURDER, SHE REPORTED is a fantastic start to a new series. It opens a window to the past and creates a mystery that is timeless. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
I was caught by the cover of this book--edgy and historical. The story was certainly not a disappointment! Fascinating lead character. She's dealing with her privileged background and her history of polio. She's very sharp witted and able to hold her own in a rather unfamiliar world. The newsman who recognizes her talents is another interesting character. All well drawn and engaging. I very much look forward to another installment.
In 1938, Elizabeth Adams lives with her family in an apartment on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Feeling trapped by her family’s expectations, she decides to get a job as a gal Friday for the newspaper, The Daily Trumpet. One day, she hopes to see her photographs gracing the front page, but for now she is stuck typing. When the photographer is unavailable, Elizabeth is tasked with accompanying veteran reporter, Ralph Kaminsky, to interview Gloria DeWitt, a society girl who is making her debut. But, when Gloria’s stepmother is shot dead in the ladies’ room, Elizabeth uses her connections to find out whodunit. This was a very well-plotted historical mystery. I loved Elizabeth’s passion for independence, even though she was disabled. She didn’t let her disability slow her down. She also showed strength when she took care of her family after they became sick and injured. I liked the romantic aspects of the mystery which lightened the suspense. The one drawback to this novel was the overabundance of descriptions. It took too long to describe something, and left little to the reader’s imagination. I would love to read another book from this series. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.
Murder, She Reported by Peg Cochran takes us back to 1938 in New York City. Elizabeth “Biz” Adams comes from a well-to-do family, but she is not content to follow in her mother’s footsteps (marriage and hosting charity events). Elizabeth obtained a job as a Gal Friday at the Daily Trumpet, but her goal is to have her photographs appear in the paper. On the night of Gloria DeWitt’s debut ball, reporter Ralph Kaminsky finds himself without a photographer and Elizabeth gets her break. Elizabeth (shortened to Biz by Ralph) goes searching for Gloria so Ralph can get an interview. She finds Gloria crying in the ladies’ room of the Waldorf Astoria over a fight with her stepmother and accidentally snaps a pic. Later in the evening, Gloria stumbles out of another ladies’ room with blood on her dress and her stepmother, Frances is dead inside. Ralph is thrilled at getting the scoop and Elizabeth’s picture of Gloria crying makes the front page (Biz promised not to use that one). Gloria wants Elizabeth to help prove her innocence or she will ruin her socially. Can Elizabeth get the scoop on Frances’ murder or will Kaminsky get an exclusive on her death? Murder, She Reported is a delightful story. I was drawn into the book immediately and I did not wish it to end. Ms. Cochran set the stage for the era with her references to music (Andrew Sisters), books (Gone with the Wind), food, hats, buildings, dances, makeup, clothing, and the slang. It felt like 1938 in bustling Manhattan (great world building). I thought the story to be nicely written with good transitions. Biz Adams is a great character with her intelligence and go-getter attitude. Elizabeth finds herself straddling two worlds. She is a socialite, but she is also a working woman. Her social connections aid her in investigating the crime. Ralph Kaminsky was a fun character. He is a great counterpart to Elizabeth with his rough edges and he has a different outlook from Biz. Murder, She Reported has a steady pace and I enjoyed the authors writing style (conversational). The mystery was complex with misdirection and good clues to aid the reader in solving the whodunit. There are a few items that could have been handled better (reworked). When the mother breaks her leg and needs help (she is quite demanding), the younger daughter takes care of her until she falls ill with pneumonia. The housekeeper/cook tries to cater to the mother’s every whim, but she is soon run ragged. The father does not believe in spending money unnecessarily, but, in this case, a nurse should have been hired. Especially since Elizabeth had polio as a child which left her with a limp and she tires easily (and is in a great deal of pain). There was an incident with another photographer who threatened Elizabeth. As Elizabeth gets more photography work, I thought he would pop up again. Instead, they smile across the newsroom. A little polishing would have made this a five-star novel. I am looking forward to reading the next Biz Adams story.
historical-places-events, historical-research, historical-figures, historical-fiction, murder-investigation The murder investigation was well done with plenty of twists and red herrings. The characters are well drawn and realistic personalities. The historical aspects seem very well researched as evidenced by references to prices, brands, subway lines, and employment issues. I was surprised that there was no mention of FDR having had polio as Elizabeth and another friend bore the residuals of the disease. I had issues with some other stuff, too, but that's because I'm a retired nurse. Basically it was a very good story that kept interest and looks like the beginning of a great new series! I requested and received a free review copy from the publisher via Netgalley.
Peg Cochran has written a delicious 1938 murder mystery with all the sights and sounds of the Depression. Elizabeth is a "girl Friday" on a Newspaper even though her family is one of the wealthy. Through a lucky break she takes over photographing a Debutante Ball with the "It girl" featured prominently. Beautiful gowns and sleek- haired escorts provide the color but who could predict it would end in murder? "The Rich are not like you and me," Kaminski noted, as he wrote his byline. He is a hardened Newspaperman reeking of onion and cigarettes. He took Elizabeth under his wing barking," Do you want to work for the Newspaper or not?" Biz, her shortened name, questioned the ethics of taking photos of people at their very worst and most vulnerable. She had snapped a crying girl with blood all over her dress but questioned the right and wrong of it. Death left a bad taste in her mouth and a white-faced Biz. The murders continue as she and Kaminski track down clues and interview people. They relentlessly pursue the police theories for their newspaper. But Biz has a few ideas of her own. The smooth delivery lines and the elegance of the attires really helps this Mystery bring that Era to life. But it's not all golden- the seamy side is written in also, so, that makes a well-integrated murder mystery. I really enjoyed it and I will continue with the series. Five stars... My thanks to Netgalley and Random House
Murder, She Reported by Peg Cochran is a well written debut for a new series. The mystery is engaging but I did catch on to the culprit before the reveal. I loved the time period that the book is set in and enjoyed the cultural, music and movie references scattered throughout the book. I found Elizabeth to be spunky and likable as she was determined to be a newspaper reporter. I admired her determination to live a life more fulfilling than what she has seen in her "socialite world". The plot was well paced with several suspects and the twists and turns that connected all of the clues to lead the reader to the reveal were almost enough to keep me guessing. There were a few things that didn't quite add up for me, such as not hiring a nurse for her mother when the family could easily have afforded one and her forgetting about her friend, Irene, when she needed help. I look forward to reading more in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Alibi via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Murder, She Reported is the first book in the Murder, She Reported series. Socialite Elizabeth Adams has recently graduated from Wellesley and has just started her job as a “gal Friday” at the Daily Trumpet with a hope of someday being more than a typist. Then one day reporter, Ralph Kaminsky, grabs a camera and asks if anyone knows how to use it and Elizabeth hesitantly raises her hand. She is told to grab her coat, and that they were headed to The Waldorf for the debut of Gloria DeWitt who was being considered as the next ‘It Girl’. When Kaminsky learned she had a passing acquaintance, he tells her to get some pictures of her and set up an exclusive interview, as he smelled a winning story. Elizabeth head to the ladies room to think of how to approach Gloria about an interview when she hears someone crying. It turns out to be Gloria who comes out with her makeup smudged and without thinking takes a picture. Elizabeth promises that it will never be published. As the evening progresses Kaminsky is getting anxious about having enough time to get the story written for the next day's edition and tells Elizabeth to find Gloria. Thinking that Gloria might have gone to the restroom she heads that way. As she is about to open the door, Gloria comes rushing out the door with blood smeared on her beautiful gown. Her mother is in one of the stalls, dead, having been shot. But, soon Gloria will become a person of interest in the killing of her mother. Elizabeth promises to what she can to clear Gloria’s name. But when the picture that Elizabeth promised would never see the light of the day ends up on the front page of the Daily Trumpet, Elizabeth loses her social contacts. Elizabeth and Kaminsky end up doing their own investigation into what happened that sorrowful evening. This story takes place in the 1930’s when men felt that they were the only ones could that should be writing stories and getting them published. Kaminsky was one of those men but soon learned that Elizabeth, who he started calling Biz, was not only an excellent photographer but had a good head on her shoulder for getting the facts for the story. And Biz didn’t want to tell much about her personal background, fearful that she might not be given an opportunity to prove her worth. Peg Cochran once provides us with a well-plotted and told story. The characters are excellent and well-developed and were believable. I particularly enjoyed reading the interaction of Biz and Kaminsky. Biz may even have a romantic interest with Sal Marino, who was the investigating detective for the police. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this wonderful new series.
What an absolutely refreshing start to a new series by established cozy author Peg Cochran! In Murder, She Reported, our heroine, Elizabeth "Biz" Adams, is a wealthy society girl in 1930's New York who's decided to pursue a career in the newspaper business. As a gal Friday at the Daily Trumpet, she's suddenly thrust into crime photography when one of the reporters drags her along to a debutante ball to interview the next "It Girl", and the aforementioned girl's stepmother is found shot to death in the ladies room! The descriptions of the period are perfect, and it was really a step back in time - I found myself researching things as I was reading, because it was all so interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed it, absolutely recommend it, and really looking forward to the second book!