Monday, October 21, 2013

"Paper Phoenix," by Michaela Thompson

Here's one for you readers of cozy mysteries... from the acclaimed Michaela Thompson, whose paperback backlist is now becoming available for Kindle readers!

Paper Phoenix: A Mystery of San Francisco in the '70s (A Classic Cozy--with Romance!), by Michaela Thompson

"Recently divorced by her handsome, influential husband, Maggie Longstreet, 44, languishes in her San Francisco home, measuring out her days in naps. She is stirred by feelings of revenge, however, when she reads that one of her ex-husband's enemies, an investigative reporter, has died under suspicious circumstances. Deciding to check out the journalist's last days, Maggie becomes friendly with one of his colleagues, another bright young reporter, half her age. Working together (and more), Maggie and Andrew uncover widespread corruption in San Francisco's real estate development circles. Maggie's former husband is seriously implicated, and Maggie becomes the target of threats, kidnapping and a few wild shots from a revolver. About as credible as a TV movie, Friedman's third novel is nevertheless full of generous good humor and high spirits." -- Publishers Weekly

"Wickedly delicious... What makes (Thompson's) book so particularly wonderful is the way it accomplishes the detective novel's covert mission of urban analysis and social criticism." -San Francisco Examiner

"(Thompson) knows how to create that sense of place which is so important to any novel, but particularly to crime fiction; her characters are believable men and women in a real world..." -P.D. James

First comes divorce, then comes murder…

…or at least sweet thoughts of murder. Maggie Longstreet has plenty of them after slimy, ambitious Richard trades her in for a more recent model. She’s so depressed she can barely get out of bed when Larry Hawkins, a seemingly not-at-all depressed acquaintance, commits suicide out of the blue. Suddenly Maggie goes on high alert, remembering something her evil ex said about Larry—something highly suspicious.

And from there, it's just a short segué to a bracing new development:

“When some women get divorced they go back to school, I thought. Some do volunteer work at the hospital, or join communes and learn to birth calves. Some have affairs with inappropriate men. My new interest is burglary. Maggie Longstreet, former wife and mother, past president of the Museum Guild, now starting a career as a second-story woman.”

Fortunately, Maggie isn’t alone in her adventure—a very attractive, much younger man proves a lot more fun than Richard ever was. In fact, the real delight of this witty, sly mystery is seeing Maggie come alive again after a suffocating marriage. Set in the’70s, it has a bit of that Mad Men feel of women on the brink of something big. And completely unexpected.

You know Maggie’s going to be okay when she says: “I’d rather have had one of those cute little guns with a mother-of-pearl handle, but this (diamond pin) would have to do. I concealed it in my hand. At least now I was armed—or pinned.”

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Meet the Author

I grew up on the Gulf Coast, in the Panhandle area of Northwest Florida. A land of salt marshes, pine forests, barrier islands, and moss-hung oaks, the Panhandle is nothing like the tropical image most people have of Florida. I used this backdrop, and the era of the 1950's, as the setting for Hurricane Season.

In time I moved on to other locales, and used them as settings for other mysteries: The San Francisco Bay Area (Paper Phoenix), France (Magic Mirror, A Temporary Ghost), Venice (Venetian Mask), and India (The Fault Tree). I have written seven mysteries, all of them originally published under the name Mickey Friedman. (I've now switched to Michaela Thompson, my original name, because many people seem to think Mickey Friedman is a man.)

Besides writing mysteries I have worked as a college editor, a reporter and columnist for a San Francisco daily newspaper, and a freelance writer and journalist.

The Florida Panhandle is still a big part of my life. My husband and I have a place on the beach near my home town, and we go there to vegetate every chance we get.

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