HH Com 195 (191)

BODY IN BLUE is Jo Durbin's story. Why did she jeopardize the career she'd carved out as a financial writer? She was old enough to know better, but those graphic, 'true' murder stories she wrote - not as anonymously as she'd expected - ruined her reputation and market. Determined to sell another book, she plunges into immersion journalism. She lives the life of a bag lady, and records it all. She's done the expected: slept in the park, spent a night in jail, learned to dodge the police, and earned the grudging acceptance of others on the street.

But, is it enough? To research problems of the 'working homeless,' Jo takes a part-time job. When she finds keys in a desk, she 'borrows' the home of a vacationing woman she'd replaced. Discovering that body and ending up as a suspect were not in the plan. Can she - with the sometimes questionable help of her mystery-fanatic sister, a weeping waitress, the homeless gang, and a gentleman who wants to save her from the street - identify the killer before the police capture her? Danger becomes immediate when a homeless woman is killed while wearing Jo's hastily discarded coat. Now, Jo must uncover the killer before she becomes the next victim.

Start with Jo at the job. Use only a few well chosen words to give us an idea of why she's there.

Whose body does she discover? And you've glossed over that it's foul play--is it? And there's also the idea that going to jail for research isn't that outlandish an idea. Lots of homeless people end up in jail for lots of reasons.

This would need more sense of the story to hook me.


Writerious said...

Why does writing lurid crime novels endager her career as a financial writer? She wouldn't be the first to write in multiple genres under different names.

Anonymous said...

Writer turns crime-solver isn't the worst premise, but I find the relationship with the homeless people is the more compelling thing for me. I assume she sets out at some point to help them. Her growing empathy for them and their individual problems (I've known a couple homless people and, while most of their stories are dull, there are some extraordinary circumstances that some of them faced, and even more extraordinary ones most of them claim they have faced.) This is going to be a tough one to make interesting without making it "waiting for Godot" while Godot goes to solve the body in the freezer. Tough sell.

wavybrains said...

Barbara Enriech's Nickel and Dimed meets mystery? I'm having a hard time following it, but there might be something here. Is she a different career in each book? (I'm pretty sure there's another series out there with that premise as well).

skybluepinkrose said...

I find the string of "weird characters" in this plot more plausible than most -- by that I mean they're not just a collection of wacky folk with no obvious connection to try to liven up the book, but it's plausible the MC would "collect" people like these. That alone caught me, and overall I think the idea ain't bad.

xiqay said...

I liked this.

I read all kinds of mystery, from the trashiest to the high-brow. I think there's room in the genre for this story.

Good luck.

aries said...

I could see where writing lurid crime novels 'might' put Jo's financial writing career at risk. Didn't that senator from VA get in trouble for writing romance novels with seamy lesbian love scenes? As for the hook, I think the author needs to concentrate more on the mystery and the danger to Jo than on the hows and whys of Jo getting to that point.