Private detective Mel Gance has never met a face he couldn’t read; that is until now, as hotel heiress Cecilia Le Cleur expressionlessly tells him about the case that will soak his favorite suit in blood and mark 1947 as the spring everything changed.
The Clear Case is book 1 in my series, The Gance and Grace Mysteries. It is heavily influenced by my love for film noir, though Gance and his “Ace” assistant Grace Springfield are progressive, leftist characters and the narrative antagonizes the conservative bigotry of the Hollywood Hays Code and 1940s society. This novel also describes the end of Gance’s previous life as a mundane PI specializing in missing persons. It strips him down and makes him look at who he really is as opposed to who he thought he was.
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Firm on the outside; soft, wholesome, and delicious on the inside.
“The Clear Case is a sharp, colorful, novel that trades in subversion to gently critique the noir tradition. It’s also a dreamy read with lush period details, and elegant plotting. If you love crime fiction, but despair of outdated tropes, this clever anti-noir is for you.”
—Laura Joyce, author of Luminol Theory and Domestic Noir
“The Clear Case reads like the voiceover from an old Humphrey Bogart movie but updated for today with Stephanie Edd’s distinctive flair.”
—Bucky Sinister, author of Black Hole
“Edd’s 1947-set thriller features a gumshoe who could step right into the brogans of Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade.
…The author is clearly having fun: She has written a legitimate whodunit but also a sendup of the genre. It’s an engrossing cable car ride, back in the world of Hammett and Chandler, with a world-weary shamus, cigarettes and fedoras, elegant and mysterious clients, and the fog always rolling in (this ain’t Fresno). Perhaps Edd will send Mel and Ace on more adventures…that would be just swell.
A competently constructed period thriller with all the trappings.”