Death Was the Other Woman
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Death Was the Other Woman (Kitty Pangborn #1)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  43 reviews
As the lawlessness of Prohibition pushes against the desperation of the Depression, there are two ways to make a living in Los Angeles: join the criminals or collar them. Kitty Pangborn has chosen the crime-fighters, becoming secretary to Dexter J. Theroux, one of the hard-drinking, tough-talking PIs who pepper the city's stew. But after Dex takes an assignment from Rita H...more
Hardcover, Cover by David Rotstein, 272 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Minotaur Books
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David Monroe
Jun 02, 2011 David Monroe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardboiled noir and mystery fans
Audio DL from the Library. Sometimes when I get an audio of a book I know I could breeze through much faster in print, it annoys me. Not so in this case. Linda Richards fills her book with fun noir 30s slang that is best when heard rather than read.

Death Was the Other Woman is an interesting twist on the hardboiled 30s LA noir. We see the world through the eyes of Kitty, a 30s Girl-Friday who takes matters into her own hands. Kitty Pangborn was a 21 year old child of privilege who lost everythin...more

Twenty-three-year-old secretary, Katherine (Kitty) Pangborn, isn’t impressed with her boss’s new client, but private investigator, Dex Theroux, can’t afford to turn business away. Rita Heppelwaite’s hired Dex to find out if her rich boyfriend, Harrison Dempsey, is cheating on her. Needless to say, things don’t go well. Kitty discovers Harrison’s body in a bathtub. The next day, she and Dex learn that his body’s disappeared and there’s no trace of a murder at all.

This is one of many plot twists i...more
This was good enough entertainment especially on audio. Thirty's slang is always better spoken, at least for me. It looks cold and funny on the page, my brain spending too much time deciphering the word and less letting the story give the meaning. So, I'm glad I picked this one to listen to on my mp3 player. As mysteries go it was a little light, I never really felt the danger. I liked the world well enough, though I'd have like to see more of it. Not a longer story, just more meat. I think I'll...more
I really enjoyed this and the second in the (what I hope is a long) series. Sometimes, mystery series become just a little formulaic - so much so that you can pick out the culprit in the opening chapters. This throwback to the hardboiled detective genre is convincing, even while it seems a little tongue-in-cheek.

This book brought a little light into my reading life, helping me break through a loooooong reading drought. The sequel was very good too.
Death Was The Other Woman – 5 Paws
Linda L. Richards
Thomas Dunne Books, 2008, 261 pps.
ISBN No. 978-0-312-37770-0

A couple of twenties, three sawbucks, a fin and a mitt full of singles or the grand sum of $83.00 makes up the retainer paid to Dexter Theroux, Jr. a/k/a Dex by Rita Heppelwaite to check up on her boyfriend who she thinks is stepping out on her. Katherine Panghorn, Dex’s secretary, is pleased with the retainer. Times are hard and Dex isn’t always able to pay Katherine on time.


Contrary to the popular proverb, plenty of people select books based on the winsomeness of their dust jackets, and if cover content alone counted, Linda L. Richards would rock the bestseller lists. Her hardcover debut, Death Was the Other Woman, not only possesses a killer title, it also has artwork so sharp you could cut yourself on it. The front features a bleary-eyed gumshoe pouring a drink as he stares up at the beauty with bee-stung lips leaning against his desk, a...more
Jen Blood
Set in the Hollywood Hills post-WWI, just as the Depression is hitting and Prohibition is on the rocks, Death Was the Other Woman is the kind of historical fiction I can handle – rich in setting, with enough historical accuracy to feel authentic, but enough fiction to keep the pages turning. Author Linda L. Richards does a fabulous job of setting an authentic tone with her knowledgeable, pithy descriptions of California during that era, as told by her spunky heroine, Kitty Pangborn. Kitty is the...more
Genre Fiction done right! Loved it, great book that ran all over the pages of Queenspin and then came back for seconds and kicks its ass clean across the sidewalk. Anyway, Kit Pangborn is a chick living in Depression Era LA working a case with detective dreamy Dex (Who I wanted to smooch on all afternoon, he was a great character). This book is written in a style that isn't just genre fiction, it's literary fiction as well. Great descriptions almost what I would compare to the style of James M...more
I really loved this contemporary take on a hard-boiled detective novel. Set in Depression-era Los Angeles, it was filled with tough guys and gorgeous bad girls.

What fun for a summer afternoon! The narrator was an elegantly reared orphan whose father jumped from his office tower when the stock market crashed on Black Friday. Leaving finishing school with no money, no prospects, no way to continue her plans to attend Vassar, our heroine stumbles into a job with an attractive (but gloomy) WW1 vet w...more
As you may have guessed from my love of the Algonquin Round Table folks, I very much enjoy books set between the wars. I thought this one was quite good and I found the character of Kitty (no! Katherine!) Pangborn quite believable and one I'd like to hear more about. In general, I felt Ms. Richards did a great job in giving the flavor of the times. For example, although I've spent time in LA I was really not aware of there having been a lot of oil wells there in the early 30s, but this was the c...more
Should have read this one first. A LOT of background on the characters in Richards' delightful (yes, delightful!) noir-ish detective series :-) Some of this would have been nice to know before I read Death Was in the Picture: A Mystery, but no harm. You can see Richards was still experimenting with style and tone here; there are a few moments where Kitty gets a bit too editorial-y. A bit darker, but still fun. I probably would have enjoyed this better if I hadn't read Death Was in the Picture fi...more
Apr 06, 2008 J.b. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes mysteries, female sleuths, detective novels, noir fiction.
Linda L. Richards tells tale of the "girl Friday" in this twist of the typical Depression-era P.I. tale. Richards takes a finishing school doll, whose father committed suicide as his stocks plummeted in the crash of '29-leaving her penniless, and has her get a job to support herself. Her boss is Dexter Thoreaux, a down and out drunk disturbed by his experiences in WWI and not always able to face the day with both feet on the ground. Enter Katharine "Kitty" Pangborn, secretary -cum-sleuth.

It's a...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
What attracted to me to pick it up was the cover as it looked interesting.

Kitty (my name is Katherine) tells the story, she works for Dexter Theroux, a heavy drinking PI who has lots of secrets. It is timed in the 1920's. Rita Hepplewaite hires Dexter to find if her boyfriend is having an affair or not, Kitty goes with him because she doesn't trust Dexter to drive because he's been dringking, again. They find a dead body (the boyfriend?) - we find there's a wife and another woman and another man...more
Good, old fashioned hard boiled detective story with a twist. It's told from the dame's point of view. The more competent secretary to the P.I. narrates the story and while she is not an experienced detective, she has a different viewpoint than her scotch swilling boss. I wasn't sure about the premise at first, but it works and works well. I went in not expecting to get much enjoyment out of the story, but I was wrong.I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading "Death Was In The Pi...more
John McCarthy
Katherine Pangborn was born to wealth in Los Angeles but has to leave school to make a living after her father loses everything in the stock market crash. She lands a job as a secretary with the hard drinking detective Dex Theroux. This 1930's noir starts with a dame concerned about a cheating boyfriend and spirals into a murder mystery. Young Katherine transforms from an underworked secretary into a valued investigative partner. The story told from Katherine's perspective and filled with the sl...more
Apr 05, 2008 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Noir fans
Shelves: noir
Oh, I'll admit that I picked this book up at the library solely because of its fabulous cover art, but the plot did not disappoint. In fact, I'll even go as far to say that Linda L. Richards is now one of my top 5 favorite new writers. Kitty Pangborn is one plucky heroine and adds a fresh feminine voice to the noir oeuvre. The only thing that prevented this book from 5 stars was the fact that it wasn't as dark as most noir books are - and I missed that darkness.
Sep 07, 2008 Mascanlon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sam Spade lovers
Linda Richard has created a great new crime fiction character in this book. Its right out of the 1930's hard boiled classics-guns and gams, booze and bodies. Kitty Pangborn's on the case. The story keeps you guessing right to the end. And the descriptions of life in the cities during the depression as Prohibition is setting is perfect fro this girl Friday turned private eye in order to turn a dime without turning tricks!
I really think that the Girl Friday POV introduced here is a refreshing change of pace to the pulp noir detective story. I read the book following this one first, though, and in comparison didn't like this one quite as much, but I still am quite looking forward to more of the adventures of Kitty Pangborn and Dex Theroux.
It was a routine plot layered with overblown 1930's gangster language. I wanted the characters to turn the gun on me and pull the trigger to get this book over with. And the main character isn't interesting enough to follow for a series. If you like this kind of book, read Mickey Spillane.
This was a fun book. The slang and attitude of the times is great to read, and you're pulled in as soon as you turn the first page. Characters are believable and interesting to follow, and the plot is mysterious enough to keep you guessing. Wish there were more!
I love noir fiction. This is contemporary, and the protagonist is a woman, which is the only way you can tell it WASN'T written in 1934.
Ultimately, the mystery of it wasn't very mysterious, but that deficit was overcome by the appealing style & characters.
Mar 10, 2008 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime, 2008
While the P.I. is up in San Francisco chasing down leads, his secretary is down in Los Angeles solving the crime. Great depression-era dectective novel. I'm not sure what the author has planned, but I'd love to see more Kitty Pangborn in the future.
Lind Richards' Death Was the Other Woman: A Novel was really fun to listen to as it was set in vintage Los Angeles. Lots of details on the crime solving profession during that time, and lots of interesting LA facts and lingo.
I wanted to like this one. The author simultaneously tried too hard and didn't try hard enough. In this book, slang became more important than the fresh, clever wording that makes authentic noire what it is.
Great for people who like film noir. Set in the 1930's. Main protagonist is a female...does a great job with descriptions and slang, making you feel like you are actually in that time and place.
Very enjoyable. I loved the 1930s noir-ish feeling and Kitty and Dex are easy characters to like. While I wouldn't pay full price for these books, they're definitely worth reading.
This was a fun send-up of a Raymond Chandler novel, with the girl Friday Kitty as the real private dick. I plan to read some more of these on vacations.
This novel is a fun little take on the hard-boiled detective stories from Los Angeles in the 30s. I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
Great for those that like period crime pieces; very descriptive on how things worked in a much different time. A good read!
Might appeal to janet evanovich fans w/ an urge for something a little more literary -- & an atmosphere of noir.
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