Excerpt from This Dame For Hire by Sandra Scoppettone, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

This Dame For Hire

by Sandra Scoppettone

This Dame For Hire by Sandra Scoppettone
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2005, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2006, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

I didn't start out to be a private eye. I thought I was gonna be a secretary—get my boss his java in the morning, take letters, and so on. Hell, I didn't get my degree in steno to put my life on the line. It was true I wanted an interesting job, but that I'd end up a PI myself . . . it never entered my mind.

Back in 1940 when I went for my interview, one look at Woody Mason and I thought for sure it was gonna be a bust.

There he was, brogans up on the wobbly wooden table he called his desk, wearing dark cheaters in the middle of the day, his trilby pulled down so low on his head it was a week before I knew he had straw-blond hair. A butt hung from his thin lips, smoke curled up past his rosy nose. I wondered if he was a boozehound.

"I'm Faye Quick," I said.

"Good for you."

"Mr. Mason, I came for the job. You wanna good secretary or not?" That got his attention.

Mason slid his legs off the desk, pushed down the sunglasses, and over the rims eyeballed my gams, while he stubbed out his Old Gold and lit a new one. So what did I expect from a gumshoe?

My friends told me I was a crackpot trying for a job with a shamus. But I thought it could be interesting. I didn't want to be in some nine-to-fiver pushing papers that had to do with mergers, business agreements, or the like. I wanted to be where whatever I was typing or listening to had some meat to it.

"Are ya?" Mason asked.

"Am I what?"

"Quick."

To myself I thought, Hardy, har, har, but I didn't say it. I gave him a look instead.

"Sorry. Guess ya get that a lot."

"Yeah."

"Sometimes I open my big yap too much. So Miss Quick, you wanna work for me?"

"That's the general idea," I said, and thought maybe he was a little slow or something. But Woody Mason was anything but slow, I was to find out.

We went through some Q and A's, then he hired me on the spot. I was slaphappy getting a job my first day looking.

That was how it was then.

But in '41 the Japs hit Pearl Harbor, and by January of '42, Woody Mason was in the army and I was running A Detective Agency. The A didn't stand for anything. He named it that so it would be first in the phone book. By the time I took over I knew almost as much as Woody, but in the beginning it was a scary idea.

"I'm not sure, boss."

"Ah, Quick, you can do it. I got complete confidence in ya."

"Yeah, but I don't."

"Listen, when I come back from this clambake I wanna have a business to come home to. You gotta keep the home fires burning, like they say."

"That's not what it means: a girl like me packin a heater and chasin the bad guys. Keepin the home fires burnin means sittin in the nest waitin for your man."

"Ain't I your man, Quick?" Woody smiled, the dimples making their mark in his cheeks, and my heart slipped a notch.

I wasn't in love with Woody, but he was a looker when he gave ya the smile. Mostly he reserved it for female clients. But on that day he brought it out for me.

Excerpted from This Dame for Hire by Sandra Scoppettone Copyright © 2005 by Sandra Scoppettone. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.