Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg

Amateur City by Katherine Forrest

Title: Amateur City
Author: Katherine Forrest
Series: Kate Delafield #1 (Did it escape your notice that the protagonist's name is a short form of the author's name?)
Genre: Mystery, LGBT.
Setting: Los Angeles in the late seventies or early eighties. Some of the descriptions of clothes and decor made me giggle.
Reason for Reading: I'm in a mystery mood. Surely you can tell.
Finished In: Hours
Pages: 204
Copyright Date: 1984
Cover: Some high rises at night. A generic urban look.
First line: "Just before seven-thirty, Ellen O'Neil walked off the elevator into the deserted lobby of Modern Office, Incorporated." (We never really find out what Modern Office DOES.)
Themes: Sexism, racism, homophobia, law enforcement, abuse, dysfunctional relationships.
Best part: It's cool to read a short mystery for once.
Worst part: Again I felt Forrest made things easy on herself. Most of the male characters were closer to being caricatures. And things have changed, but even bigots mostly do not act the way she portrayed them here - out of their own self-interest if nothing else, even in the eighties.
Imaginary Theme Song: "How Bold" by Holly Near.
Grade: C
Recommended for: Folks who like queer-focused mysteries.
Related Reads: Daughters of a Coral Dawn by the same author. Though it was more explicitly political it also took itself less seriously. Death Trick by Richard Stevenson. A Grave Talent by Laurie R King.
Tags: books 2011, fiction
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