'An author with a flair for terror' The New Yorker
Alone in New York City, Lizanne Steffasson comes face to face with reality when her dream of acting on Broadway collapses.
Now she just needs to pay her rent. So she answers an unusual ad in the paper, for 'a beautiful girl. One not afraid to look on danger's bright face'.
Lizanne is neither beautiful nor fearless, yet she is certainly about to look danger in the face. A New York estate lawyer wants her help to track down a young man who has vanished into the wilds of the city on the eve of inheriting a vast sum of money from his billionaire late father, a Swedish man known as the Cross-Eyed Bear.
It turns out that Lizanne is the perfect person for the job, as she knows more about the story than her employer has bargained for . . .
Dorothy B. Hughes was an acclaimed crime novelist and literary critic, her style falling into the hard-boiled and noir genres of mystery writing. Born in Kansas City, she studied journalism at the University of Missouri, and her initial literary output consisted of collections of poetry. Hughes' first mystery novel, The So Blue Marble, was published in 1940 and was hailed as the arrival of a great new talent in the field. Her writing proved to be both critically and commercially successful, and three of her novels - The Fallen Sparrow, Ride the Pink Horse and In a Lonely Place - were made into major films. Hughes' taught, suspenseful detective novels are reminiscent of the work of Elisabeth Sanxay Holding and fellow The Murder Room author Margaret Millar. In 1951, Hughes was awarded an Edgar award for Outstanding Mystery Criticism and, in 1978, she received the Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America. She died in Oregon in 1993.