A Dangerous Business: Whodunit’s light touch at odds with weightier theme of women’s struggles
Sex-worker sleuths stumble incredibly across clues and corpses in Jane Smiley’s enjoyable but underwhelming murder mystery
Jane Smiley’s 16th novel, A Dangerous Business, is a historical whodunnit set during the 1850s in the town of Monterey on California’s Central Coast.
Eliza Ripple crossed the continent from Kalamazoo in southern Michigan as a newlywed 18-year-old two years before the story begins. Soon she discovered that her husband was not the upright citizen who had convinced her strict religious parents that he would make a suitable life partner for their only child.