RARA-AVIS: Re: Barbara D'Amato

From: Richard Moore ( moorich@aol.com)
Date: 15 May 2008

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "jacquesdebierue"
<jacquesdebierue@...> wrote:
> Last night I picked up one of the Best Mystery Stories annual
> collections (this one guest edited by Westlake) and read a fantastic
> story (titled Motel 66) by this author. Which of her novels would
> readership here recommend? Though the name is very familiar, I had
> never read anything by D'Amato.
> Best,
> mrt

I am a great admirer of Barbara D'Amato's short fiction but must confess that I have not read any of her novels. However, I can pass along the opinion of Jon Breen, a critic with whom I am almost always in agreement. In the Fall 1993 issue of The Armchair Detective, Breen favorably reviewed D'Amato's novel HARD WOMEN (Scribner 1993) saying "The series about Chicago journalist Cat Marsala is one of the best to debut in recent years, marked by lively telling, clever plotting, and the fruits of extensive authorial research."

The year before in The Armchair Detective, Allen Hubin, another critic I respect but whose opinions are slightly less in sync with mine than Breen's, reviewed the 1991 novel HARD TACK and said he had early problems with the character Cat Marsala but D'Amato's skill eventually won his approval.

D'Amato had another series character Dr. Gerritt DeGraff, a forensic pathologist prior to the Cat Marsala novels.

Thanks for pointing her out as the reminder is enough to keep me alert for one of her novels. I certainly know her to be a fine writer through her short fiction.

Richard Moore

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