Suitable for Framing

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Britt Montero, ace reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper, is witness to a crime so savage, despite it banality, that she is haunted by the fallout. In her pursuit of the malefactors, however, she unexpectedly discovers a rare jewel of a human. With no reason to better his circumstance or seek an alternative lifestyle, this young man nevertheless is determined to achieve both objectives. Yet, if Howie the Gangbanger is an unexpected treat in the urban smorgasbord, Trish Tierney is a loathsome insect buzzing about the buffet table.

Trish Tierney appears to be exactly what she says she is: a talented, ambitious person from a small town seeking fame and fortune in the big city. Tierney is so eager to learn, so obviously willing to accept Britt as a mentor and so generally in need that Britt finds herself compelled to offer her assistance. Much to Britt’s surprise, however, Tierney’s outstretched hand holds a dagger and the veteran reporter must fight for her professional life. A struggle which becomes all the more serious in its reality when Tierney turns up dead and Britt is the primary suspect.

Edna Buchanan was a crime reporter for the MIAMI HERALD, and her fictional protagonist is a crime reporter for the imaginary MIAMI NEWS. Some readers, therefore, might wonder to what degree the one is the autobiographical aspect of the other. Whatever the answer, the verisimilitude that surrounds the narrative core is impressive and this third time appearance is choice indeed. Britt Montero is one of the more engaging and believable of the new crop of tough women now extant in the genre.