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Morgue Mama: The Cross Kisses Back    by C. R. Corwin order for
Morgue Mama
by C. R. Corwin
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The morgue in the title of this first mystery novel by C. R. Corwin refers not to the medical facility in the bowels of a hospital, but to the files that are kept by a newspaper of all past news items fit to print.

Maddy Sprowls is keeper of this vast store of knowledge. Thus her nickname, 'Morgue Mama', which this crusty denizen of the bowels of the newspaper permits no one to use in her hearing. Enter Aubrey McGinty, brazenly using the forbidden name, while asking for Maddy's help to uncover the killer of a TV evangelist. Aubrey is convinced the wrong person is in jail for the crime. She wants justice done and, incidentally, the story of a lifetime with her byline.

Morgue Mama is well-written. Corwin, a former reporter, gives the reader a glimpse of the behind the scenes workings of a published newspaper. The rounded main characters, Maddy and Aubrey, are joined by lesser players who enhance the story. I'd kind of like to know Maddy. Her attitude delights me. The plot is tight and the action well-planned. The ending was not at all what I expected; I didn't have a clue, because it was a complete surprise.

I look forward to more of Morgue Mama.

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