Most people think of the morgue as that cold and sterile facility where medical examiners do their necessary, albeit dreadful, work. Less familiar is the other type of morgue, the dry and dusty version, the newspaper morgue, usually housed in the basements and backrooms of newspaper buildings, where old news clippings are filed away. Dolly Madison Sprowls has been in charge of the Hannawa Herald-Union’s morgue for more than forty years. She is gruff and salty, well past the age of retirement, and the unchallenged queen of her ink-stained domain. Reporters call her Morgue Mama but only behind her back.
Maddy Sprowls’ well-ordered world gets turned upside down when the paper hires twenty-four-year-old Aubrey McGinty for its police beat. Aubrey loses no time in questioning the conviction of Sissy James for the murder of televangelist Buddy Wing. It’s true that Sissy had quickly confessed - live on television - to poisoning the famous preacher, and the evidence does seem overwhelming. But the ambitious young reporter doesn’t believe Sissy is guilty. Aubrey enlists the help of Morgue Mama to dig into the morgue’s files. Their search for the truth soon becomes harrowing - and dangerous - as they uncover enough suspects to fill a church with those who do the devil’s work
C. R. Corwin is a former newspaper reporter living in Akron, Ohio.
“A bell ringer of a crime novel. Everything about the setting rings absolutely true, and the plot is great.” (Dana Stabenow, Edgar Award–winning and New York Times best-selling mystery novelist)
“In Corwin’s witty and engaging caper…newspaper archivist Dolly Madison Sprowls, called Morgue Mama ‘behind her back,’ and a determined cub reporter, Aubrey McGinty, team up to investigate the poisoning of TV evangelist Buddy Wing…Her matchup with Aubrey brings her and the reader genuine excitement right through the stunning conclusion to this lively adventure.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Retirement-aged but still formidable newspaper librarian Dolly Madison Sprowls teams up with youthful police reporter Aubrey McGinty to investigate a recent murder case…Serviceable prose, knotty characters, and major unexpected plot twists should endear this first novel to most readers.” (Library Journal)
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- Patricia Smith
Fun and engaged all the way to the twisted end
- Beth McKenzie