Friday, June 27, 2008

Edwin of the Iron Shoes

I read Edwin of the Iron Shoes by Marcia Muller because it is the first in a long-running series by an award-winning author. I've read somewhere that this book featuring Sharon McCone is the first literary example of a female private investigator. It surprises me that a book published in 1977 would be the first example of a woman P.I., and it's an important milestone.

from the back of the book:
Private eye Sharon McCone's first case opens when a small-time antique shop owner is found murdered-stabbed with a bone-handled dagger from one of her own display cases. The wirnesses aren't talking, for they are the mute inhabitants of the shop: Clothilde, a headless dressmaker's dummy; Bruno, the stuffed German Shepherd; and Edwin, the little boy mannequin with ornate iron shoes.

Among the suspects are Cara Ingalls, a socialite business tycoon; Charlie the junkman, who had once been the victim's lover...and a group of high-powered real estate speculators, each with his own reason for closing down the curio shops of San Francisco's Salem Street, and each seemingly willing to twist and break the law to get what he wants.

Patronized and discouraged by the homicide lieutenant in charge of the case, Sharon is determined to find the facts behind the death of the shopkeeper, her employers' client. And she is to discover that neither antiques nor people are exactly what they seem.

Bookpage interviewed Muller here.

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