A NEW YORK TIMES BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR • In the newest entry into the Nero Award-winning Pentecost & Parker Mystery series, Lillian and Will are hot on the trail of a serial killer whose murders are stranger than fiction.
The Pentecost & Parker series "takes gritty 40s noir, shakes it up, gives it a charming twist, and serves it up with unforgettable style" (Deanna Raybourn, author of the Veronica Speedwell Mysteries). From the author of Fortune Favors the Dead and Murder Under Her Skin.
New York City, 1947: For years, Holly Quick has made a good living off of murder, filling up the pages of pulp detective magazines with gruesome tales of revenge. Now someone is bringing her stories to life and leaving a trail of blood-soaked bodies behind. With the threat of another murder looming, and reluctant to go to the police, Holly turns to the best crime-solving duo in or out of the pulps, Willowjean “Will” Parker and her boss, famed detective Lillian Pentecost.
The pair are handed the seemingly-impossible task of investigating three murders at once without tipping off the cops or the press that the crimes are connected. A tall order made even more difficult by the fact that Will is already signed up to spend her daylight hours undercover as a guileless secretary in the hopes of digging up a lead on an old adversary, Dr. Olivia Waterhouse.
But even if Will is stuck in pencil skirts and sensible shoes, she’s not about to let her boss have all the fun. Soon she’s diving into an underground world of people obsessed with murder and the men and women who commit them. Can the killer be found in the Black Museum Club, run by a philanthropist whose collection of grim murder memorabilia may not be enough to satisfy his lust for the homicidal? Or is it Holly Quick’s pair of editors, who read about murder all day, but clearly aren’t telling the full story?
With victims seemingly chosen at random and a murderer who thrives on spectacle, the case has the great Lillian Pentecost questioning her methods. But whatever she does, she’d better do it fast. Holly Quick has a secret, too and it’s about to bring death right to Pentecost and Parker’s doorstep.
About the Author
STEPHEN SPOTSWOOD is an award-winning playwright, journalist, and educator. As a journalist, he has spent much of the last two decades writing about the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the struggles of wounded veterans. His dramatic work has been widely produced across the United States and he is the winner of the 2021 Nero Award for best American mystery. He makes his home in Washington, D.C. with his wife, young adult author Jessica Spotswood.
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR • A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE • EDGAR AWARD NOMINEE
“This mystery, the third in a series, is as winning as its predecessors. Here, the famous P.I. Lillian Pentecost and her spiky junior partner, Willowjean 'Will' Parker, immerse themselves in the seedy milieu of pulp magazines, circa 1947. The novel reads as easy as fine whiskey goes down.” --The New York Times Book Review
"Slick and exciting . . . Spotswood's third Pentecost and Parker adventure is a constant delight. . . The dialogue crackles, the mysteries intrigue and there is an abundance of wit and grit." --The Minneapolis Star Tribune
"You can’t get much better at honoring the golden age of pulp than Stephen Spotswood’s historical mysteries . . . In Spotswood’s latest, set in 1947, Parker and Pentecost are on the trail of a copycat killer getting all their ideas from the diabolical pages of a notorious pulp fiction writer. With dialogue and descriptions straight out of Chandler, and spunky heroines with plenty of pizzazz, Secrets Typed in Blood is not to be missed." --CrimeReads
"Brilliant . . . the Pentecost & Parker series will thrill fans of Stout’s iconic characters." --BookPage, starred review
“Spotswood plays fair with readers in a complex plot offering plenty of vivid characters, clever dialogue, and plausible suspects. Pentecost and Parker are a great crime-fighting partnership whose popularity is bound to increase.” —Publishers Weekly
"Undeniably engaging." —Kirkus Reviews
"As in the previous two books, the action is unrelenting, the plot serpentine, and the language delicious . . . Spotswood will, I hope, continue to delight readers with these witty, sophisticated, and wildly entertaining mysteries for many years to come." --HillRag
"I just love this series." --Red Carpet Crash
"Clever, queer-friendly . . . I was fully surprised by the twists and turns in the narrative as Parker hunts down criminals at the behest of her genius boss, like a female latter-day version of Archie Goodwin doing the legwork for the housebound Nero Wolfe." --Criminal Element
Praise for Stephen Spotswood and the Pentecost and Parker Mystery series:
"Razor-sharp style, tons of flair, a snappy sense of humor, and all the most satisfying elements of a really good noir novel." —Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of The Searcher
“A delight . . . it’s a pleasure to watch [Pentecost and Parker] sifting through red herrings and peeling secrets back like layers of an onion.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Bullets, blood, bodies, and belly-laughs: all the ingredients of a classic mystery novel. Stephen Spotswood hard-boils with the best of ‘em!” —Alan Bradley, bestselling author of the Flavia de Luce Mystery Series "Takes gritty 40s noir, shakes it up, gives it a charming twist, and serves it up with unforgettable style. My new favorite sleuthing duo are Pentecost and Parker, the spiritual sisters of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. . .Utterly brilliant!" —Deanna Raybourn, author of the Veronica Speedwell Mysteries