Literary agent Jo Donovan is in charge of a highly successful agency representing some great talent. Widow of a talented and well-regarded author, Hugo Donovan, Jo has made a name for herself and is much sought after. But when a would-be author begins stalking her, insisting she must read his manuscript and take him on as a client, things start to go wrong. Soon, her clients are attacked, and Jo is reunited with an old flame who is now a police detective in charge of her case.
A Dangerous Fiction by Barbara Rogan is a mystery that encompasses the world of publishing. Rogan brings us into the everyday happenings of a literary agency, the roles people play in choosing and promoting books and authors, and the dangers that arise when authors are rejected. The mystery was well-done, keeping me turning pages from beginning to end, and not giving away the truth until it was finally revealed.
As much as this is a page-turner, I found it a bit of a slow read ~ for a good reason. The writing style was wonderful. I found I wanted to linger over every word and sentence, rather than reading quickly as I tend to do with mysteries. Here's an example from the preface:
He smiled as one does at an oft-heard joke. I looked at him properly for the first time. The boyishness was gone, but the lines around his eyes and mouth suited him, lending gravitas to his face. His eyes were green, but a darker, warier shade than I remembered, rain forest instead of meadow. I wondered if he'd ever married. His ring finger was bare, which meant nothing. Hugo and I exchanged rings when we married, but Hugo never wore his. It chafed him when he wrote, he'd said.The characters in A Dangerous Fiction are well-drawn, although we definitely get to know Jo more than others. I still felt the other characters with whom she works and interacts were quite realistic. And it was fun to get a glimpse into a literary agency. While there is some violence ~ it's a murder mystery, after all ~ this is more of a cozy mystery than the more harsh thrillers I sometimes read. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries, especially those interested in publishing.
My rating: 4/5
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This review was written based on a copy of A Dangerous Fiction that I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.