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A .38, a nip of gin and sensational legs get Depression-era private investigator Maggie Sullivan out of most scrapes – until a stranger threatens to bust her nose, she’s hauled in on suspicion of his murder and she finds herself in the cross-hairs of a crime boss with connections at City Hall. Moving through streets where people line up at soup kitchens, Maggie draws info A .38, a nip of gin and sensational legs get Depression-era private investigator Maggie Sullivan out of most scrapes – until a stranger threatens to bust her nose, she’s hauled in on suspicion of his murder and she finds herself in the cross-hairs of a crime boss with connections at City Hall. Moving through streets where people line up at soup kitchens, Maggie draws information from sources others overlook: The waitress at the dime store lunch counter where she has breakfast; a ragged newsboy; the other career girls at her rooming house. Her digging gets her chloroformed and left in a ditch behind the wheel of her DeSoto. She makes her way to an upscale bordello and gets tea – and information – from the madam herself. A gunman puts a bullet through Maggie’s hat. Her shutterbug pal on the evening paper warns her off. A new cop whose presence unsettles her thinks she’s crooked. Before she finds all the answers she needs, she faces a half-crazed man with a gun, and a far more lethal point-blank killer. If you like Robert B. Parker's hard boiled Spencer series and strong women sleuths, don't miss this one-of-a-kind Ohio detective from a time in United States history when dames wore hats -- but seldom a Smith & Wesson.


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A .38, a nip of gin and sensational legs get Depression-era private investigator Maggie Sullivan out of most scrapes – until a stranger threatens to bust her nose, she’s hauled in on suspicion of his murder and she finds herself in the cross-hairs of a crime boss with connections at City Hall. Moving through streets where people line up at soup kitchens, Maggie draws info A .38, a nip of gin and sensational legs get Depression-era private investigator Maggie Sullivan out of most scrapes – until a stranger threatens to bust her nose, she’s hauled in on suspicion of his murder and she finds herself in the cross-hairs of a crime boss with connections at City Hall. Moving through streets where people line up at soup kitchens, Maggie draws information from sources others overlook: The waitress at the dime store lunch counter where she has breakfast; a ragged newsboy; the other career girls at her rooming house. Her digging gets her chloroformed and left in a ditch behind the wheel of her DeSoto. She makes her way to an upscale bordello and gets tea – and information – from the madam herself. A gunman puts a bullet through Maggie’s hat. Her shutterbug pal on the evening paper warns her off. A new cop whose presence unsettles her thinks she’s crooked. Before she finds all the answers she needs, she faces a half-crazed man with a gun, and a far more lethal point-blank killer. If you like Robert B. Parker's hard boiled Spencer series and strong women sleuths, don't miss this one-of-a-kind Ohio detective from a time in United States history when dames wore hats -- but seldom a Smith & Wesson.

30 review for No Game For a Dame

  1. 4 out of 5

    M. Louisa Locke

    I am a fan of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and the hard-boiled detective mysteries set in the 1930s and 1940s, which is why I gave Myer's historical mystery, No Game for a Dame, a try. And boy, am I glad I did. It was such fun to see how the classic themes of this genre played out with a female private eye, Maggie Sullivan, and i was impressed at how absolutely faithful to the historical time and place, late 1930's Dayton, Ohio, the book was. The historical detail was subtle, but spot on, an I am a fan of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and the hard-boiled detective mysteries set in the 1930s and 1940s, which is why I gave Myer's historical mystery, No Game for a Dame, a try. And boy, am I glad I did. It was such fun to see how the classic themes of this genre played out with a female private eye, Maggie Sullivan, and i was impressed at how absolutely faithful to the historical time and place, late 1930's Dayton, Ohio, the book was. The historical detail was subtle, but spot on, and it gave a richness and authenticity to the book. No Game for a Dame did a lovely job of portraying the uneasy relationship between Maggie, as a private detective, and the local police, with the added element of paternalism on the part of the older Irish cops, and the book provided an accurate description of the wide variety of jobs that women worked at during the depths of the Great Depression. The mystery was compelling, the secondary characters were fully developed, and the possible romance was just enough to make me want more. All in all, a terrific book, and I can't wait for the next installment.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tea

    I'm glad I gave this one a chance because now I'm hooked! As usual, I perused the one- and two-star reviews on Amazon before I read anything else. The arguments against – characters didn't sound like they were from Ohio, characters sounded like they were from the 1930s – piqued my interest, as characters that don't fit their settings is a peeve of mine. But that latter complaint struck me as a plus because, well, duh, the book is set in the '30s. I wasn't the only one to make that note, and the c I'm glad I gave this one a chance because now I'm hooked! As usual, I perused the one- and two-star reviews on Amazon before I read anything else. The arguments against – characters didn't sound like they were from Ohio, characters sounded like they were from the 1930s – piqued my interest, as characters that don't fit their settings is a peeve of mine. But that latter complaint struck me as a plus because, well, duh, the book is set in the '30s. I wasn't the only one to make that note, and the counter-arguers convinced me to give the book a chance. Where the naysayers mostly talked characters who didn't sound like them (the naysayers), those arguing against them delved into deeper character assessments and found interest in the level of historical detail seamlessly incorporated into a smoothly written tale. To my delight, Maggie Sullivan really is a smart and feisty woman living at a time when that wasn't necessarily a plus. The daughter of an Irish American cop who died a few years back, she gets herself into and out of trouble frequently over the course of her work, but she's certainly not invulnerable – sometimes she barely rescues herself or clients, and sometimes, she isn't the one doing the rescuing. Fortunately for her, her dad's friends and former colleagues think a lot of her. (Well, that's usually a fortunate thing... when the old flatfoots aren't trying to protect her – which sometimes keeps her from doing her job as well as she could otherwise – that is.) Maggie is at times impetuous, and she's not unaware of the fact. Her line of work sometimes leaves her weighing prudence and expedience, and Myers makes the struggle appear real. Even when readers might be left shaking their heads over Maggie's choices. But who the heck likes a perfect character, anyway? Myers set the first story in the Maggie Sullivan series in a series of snapshots of 1930s Dayton, and while I don't enough about that city to say whether her depiction was accurate, it was certainly vivid. The book was peopled with walk-on characters who were filled in just enough not to be cardboard cut-outs while not becoming distractions, either. The people who counted were drawn with more details – at times with just enough to make a reader hope that they'll show up later in the series without feeling cheated that they didn't feature more in this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Abandonned at 60% - I just can't get into this book. It's not badly written or anything and I rather like the noir style and the main character is sassy BUT I'm so bored and a bit confused by the story and just don't really want to spend any more time on it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anuradha

    I must say Maggie Sullivan is amazing! Think of her as a sassier, American version of Miss Marple. It's definitely not the best book I've read, but it gave me this warm and fuzzy feeling, so I'm giving it four stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nola Arganbright

    Tough cookie Maggie Sullivan is a tough and intelligent Private Detective. She is more Dick Tracy than Stephanie Plum. She is all business and good at what she does. A 1940 era book with writing that is immersed in the time period. Maggie has been hired to check out a young man by his uncle. There is danger all around but it doesn't deter this PI. Great writing, continual action in the development of the plot. Characters are well developed in an unremarkable way meaning they are part of the story Tough cookie Maggie Sullivan is a tough and intelligent Private Detective. She is more Dick Tracy than Stephanie Plum. She is all business and good at what she does. A 1940 era book with writing that is immersed in the time period. Maggie has been hired to check out a young man by his uncle. There is danger all around but it doesn't deter this PI. Great writing, continual action in the development of the plot. Characters are well developed in an unremarkable way meaning they are part of the story and never outshine it. I was impressed that the writing stayed in the time period with no accidental leaks from the future.no I am looking forward to more of the series to take me back in time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    This book was offered for free by Amazon so I downloaded it. I had read a couple of reviews beforehand that made it sound like I might enjoy it. The author was unknown to me. It is unlikely I would have purchased this otherwise. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book. This is one of those old-time detective stories . . . dark allies, hit men, and smoking. I got into the story. Maggie Sullivan is the rough female detective in this Depression-era novel. She's smart, witty, and full of sass. That is what This book was offered for free by Amazon so I downloaded it. I had read a couple of reviews beforehand that made it sound like I might enjoy it. The author was unknown to me. It is unlikely I would have purchased this otherwise. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book. This is one of those old-time detective stories . . . dark allies, hit men, and smoking. I got into the story. Maggie Sullivan is the rough female detective in this Depression-era novel. She's smart, witty, and full of sass. That is what kept my attention. M. Ruth Myers describes scenes and characters quite well. This is an easy and fun book to enjoy. The story lagged briefly about two-thirds of the way through and then again nearing the end. I didn't find the mystery particularly compelling. It seemed like it was wrapped up quickly. I am used to a more elaborate twist of things in the stories that I love; this was straightforward and not difficult to follow. It was also predictable and didn't take a Robert Goren master-of-all to chain together. That was welcomed. There were four, as I recall, instances that I recall with typographical errors. As a new Kindle reader, I find these interesting. Having enjoyed this, I will keep an eye out for the second Maggie Sullivan novel. Apparently Tough Cookie will be out sometime this year. I would read that provided I felt like the price was a bargain.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    No Game for a Dame written by M. Ruth Myers is a hard boiled detective novel with a twist. Maggie Sullivan is the detective. Set in the 1930's when women didn't have such occupations, Maggie is often taken for granted. An old friend of her father asked if she was sure this was the kind of work she wanted to do, cause she would have made such a nice teacher. But our detective is all too aware of how men percieve her and uses that knowledge to her advantage. "Crooks and killers set so much store b No Game for a Dame written by M. Ruth Myers is a hard boiled detective novel with a twist. Maggie Sullivan is the detective. Set in the 1930's when women didn't have such occupations, Maggie is often taken for granted. An old friend of her father asked if she was sure this was the kind of work she wanted to do, cause she would have made such a nice teacher. But our detective is all too aware of how men percieve her and uses that knowledge to her advantage. "Crooks and killers set so much store by brawn they overlook gals." Myers really knows this era, and Dayton, Ohio. One can easily envision the period she writes about. Maggie is as tough and wisecracking as any male hard boiled detective, and witty as well. But, we see her soft side too, and she maintains her femininity. Maggie has been hired to check up on her client's nephew who has suddenly become a snappy dresser and flashing more cash than he should have. This leads her to robbery, murder and kidnapping. With each chapter the suspense builds, as she gets closer and closer to the truth. There are a few twist here and there. The ending is a real thrill and leaves you wanting to read more about Maggie Sullivan. I can't wait for her next adventure. I purchased this book in ebook format. The print version has 266 pages. The violence is PG. Colorful language was rare, ( only two or three times I think) and there is no SC. The writing is very good, the story fast paced. Overall a very enjoyable read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Fun mystery set during the Depression in Dayton, Ohio. Maggie Sullivan is a cop's daughter and is one tough cookie. She gets herself into trouble tracking a violent burglary ring. Will she come out on top? Read the book, the first in her series, to find out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Taylor

    This is a hard boiled detective novel set in the late 30s with a twist: the detective is a woman. The daughter of a cop, she's got skills and is tough, but still a woman and relies on slightly different skills to do her job and survive than a guy might. Maggie Sullivan is hired to check on a businessman's son and presumed heir to see if he's in trouble; the young man has been acting strangely as of late. From this the case goes in different directions and the bodies start to hit the floor. Maggie This is a hard boiled detective novel set in the late 30s with a twist: the detective is a woman. The daughter of a cop, she's got skills and is tough, but still a woman and relies on slightly different skills to do her job and survive than a guy might. Maggie Sullivan is hired to check on a businessman's son and presumed heir to see if he's in trouble; the young man has been acting strangely as of late. From this the case goes in different directions and the bodies start to hit the floor. Maggie is a likable detective, unlike many of the most famous ones. She's tough and ready with a snarky line, but is a decent sort of person and she's unentangled with romance as a good detective ought to be (although the story suggests future romance). There are a couple of minor bothers. Some of the slang isn't period accurate ("tony" to describe wealthy and upper class, strictly British at this time), The case is a bit tepid, and the author ends several chapters with foreshadowing lines along the "I would learn soon that was not the case" which is annoying and pointless in my opinion. But overall its a fun read that kept me interested, and has a good procedural feel of someone going through the job stage by stage using assets and gaining information. Myers plays up the female PI in a non-complaint way; she shows the strengths a woman can bring by who she can contact and what she can do that a man wouldn't be able to instead of harping on how awful the world is to women. I'm looking forward to more in this series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John

    As a male reader, one of the reasons I really like this book a lot is that the author played fair in the sense that if Maggie wanted to play in the big leagues in a non-sexist manner, she gets roughed up rather than "you can't hit a girl!" Having some Dayton roots, I found the sense of place well done. Most importantly, the writing quality I found very high - looking forward to more stories!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    In M Ruth Myers's No Game for a Dame, the first installment in the Maggie Sullivan historical mystery series, we're transferred back in time to hit the easy streets. In Post-Depression era in Ohio, Maggie Sullivan is a private eye and hoping to catch her first case. It all started when someone threatened her in her office and the police have an eye on her. When she worked on a case to help Lewis Throckmorton's nephew, Peter Stowe, who's in a bind, it was up to her to find out what's it all about In M Ruth Myers's No Game for a Dame, the first installment in the Maggie Sullivan historical mystery series, we're transferred back in time to hit the easy streets. In Post-Depression era in Ohio, Maggie Sullivan is a private eye and hoping to catch her first case. It all started when someone threatened her in her office and the police have an eye on her. When she worked on a case to help Lewis Throckmorton's nephew, Peter Stowe, who's in a bind, it was up to her to find out what's it all about. As soon as she unraveled the mystery on who was behind the threats for him and even on her, she doesn't break under pressure, even when her first client dumps her. When she believed she had it, she discovered who was behind it, when her life was on the line to fight for her own life.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Take Kinsey Milhone, put her in a time machine and send her back several decades, and you have Maggie Sullivan - a female PI trying to make her way in pre-WW2 Dayton, Ohio. I felt the book had just enough history and cultural references to make it believable and set the time and place, while focusing primarily on the characters and the plot. There was a hint of a romance to come, but the story did not get bogged down by the sexual escapades that seem to fill a lot of current mysteries. Maggie wa Take Kinsey Milhone, put her in a time machine and send her back several decades, and you have Maggie Sullivan - a female PI trying to make her way in pre-WW2 Dayton, Ohio. I felt the book had just enough history and cultural references to make it believable and set the time and place, while focusing primarily on the characters and the plot. There was a hint of a romance to come, but the story did not get bogged down by the sexual escapades that seem to fill a lot of current mysteries. Maggie was a fun and interesting character - independent, hard-working, a little foolhardy at times, and loyal to her friends. This was the most enjoyable mystery I have read in a while.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maygirl7

    Free 1/21/16 at Amazon and B & N. Free 1/21/16 at Amazon and B & N.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eden

    2020 bk 330. Set in 1930's Dayton, Ohio, this private eye is tough, witty, intelligent, and curious. She recognizes early in her cases that there are connections not yet uncovered. Maggie Sullivan's first book is well crafted, well thought out, well written. She reveals the clues openly, allowing the reader to follow Maggie's thinking as she seeks to sort out if there is crime, what is the crime, and how does it involve her employer's family. I will purchase more of this series - and Private Eye 2020 bk 330. Set in 1930's Dayton, Ohio, this private eye is tough, witty, intelligent, and curious. She recognizes early in her cases that there are connections not yet uncovered. Maggie Sullivan's first book is well crafted, well thought out, well written. She reveals the clues openly, allowing the reader to follow Maggie's thinking as she seeks to sort out if there is crime, what is the crime, and how does it involve her employer's family. I will purchase more of this series - and Private Eye mysteries are not my favorite.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ted Tayler

    "A good vintage" As soon as I read the first chapter I was back in the days when I read about Mike Hammer for the first time. That was over fifty years ago now but the sights, smells and sounds those stories evoked were emanating from the pages of the Maggie Sullivan tale on my kindle. Well-written and engaging, certainly worth a read. My only quibble was that it seemed to drag a little at times, rather like those TV shows they run over a two-hour slot when in truth it could have been wrapped up "A good vintage" As soon as I read the first chapter I was back in the days when I read about Mike Hammer for the first time. That was over fifty years ago now but the sights, smells and sounds those stories evoked were emanating from the pages of the Maggie Sullivan tale on my kindle. Well-written and engaging, certainly worth a read. My only quibble was that it seemed to drag a little at times, rather like those TV shows they run over a two-hour slot when in truth it could have been wrapped up in ninety minutes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen Perkins

    I listened to this on audio, and loved it. Both author and narrator worked together perfectly to transport me to prohibition-era America, and I loved the character of private eye, Maggie Sullivan.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    In some ways, I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. Oh, I liked it, sure, and I'm probably going to push right ahead and read another in the series. It's sort of femininely faux noir, I suppose. It's set in the late 1930s--there are a few references to pre-WW2 stunts that Hitler was pulling in Europe, and some post-prohibition references, both of which help give it that period ambiance. The protagonist, Maggie Sullivan, is a no-nonsense, modern, gutsy young woman of Irish descent. She In some ways, I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. Oh, I liked it, sure, and I'm probably going to push right ahead and read another in the series. It's sort of femininely faux noir, I suppose. It's set in the late 1930s--there are a few references to pre-WW2 stunts that Hitler was pulling in Europe, and some post-prohibition references, both of which help give it that period ambiance. The protagonist, Maggie Sullivan, is a no-nonsense, modern, gutsy young woman of Irish descent. She likes dark beer and gin. She keeps a loaded 38 either in her lap or in her purse pretty much all the time; and she's got another piece in the glove box of her car. She knows how to pull a trigger, too, when necessary. Her father was a cop, and she was raised among cops, so she comes honestly by the "gumshoe" business in Dayton, Ohio. Whoa... Where? Haha. I liked that the location is somewhere besides (yawn) NYC, Chicago, or LA. And the author seems to know her way around Dayton pretty well, so there's some authentic sounding local color and all that. For a detective novel, however, it felt like there's a bit more than the usual amount of following, sitting around, and stakeouting. Maggie cogitates a lot, too. This is probably more realistic than a typical non-stop action gangland shoot-em-up. But the net is that we, the readers, get to hang out casually inside Maggie's head and ruminate a lot with her, and watch her hang out. Not a bad thing; she's good company. But the pacing can feel laid-back. (It picks up in the last 1/3 of the book.) There are some formatting issues (excessive indents, double-spaces after periods, and left-single quotes masquerading as apostrophes, for example), and a lot of typos that should have been caught/fixed by the copy-editor. I obtained this and the third book in the series as Amazon freebies. I may have to shell out $3.99 for the second book in the series, but I'm still on the fence about it...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Loretta

    I have always loved Erle Stanley Gardner, Raymond Chandler and the genre of the 1920-30's era in America and the UK. I feel Ruth Myers wonderful character, Maggie Sullivan, is amongst these witty, ironic but smart private eyes and she's a dame! So there's a new twist. But she's nobody's fool and neither, I'm glad to say, is she some angst ridden feminist whom modern writers love to extol as if Men are suddenly the Enemy. They really irritate me. Maggie is attractive, likes to wear pretty clothes I have always loved Erle Stanley Gardner, Raymond Chandler and the genre of the 1920-30's era in America and the UK. I feel Ruth Myers wonderful character, Maggie Sullivan, is amongst these witty, ironic but smart private eyes and she's a dame! So there's a new twist. But she's nobody's fool and neither, I'm glad to say, is she some angst ridden feminist whom modern writers love to extol as if Men are suddenly the Enemy. They really irritate me. Maggie is attractive, likes to wear pretty clothes and hats but she can outsmart and outshoot some pretty tough men! But she's not impervious to a hunky man when he comes her way. I just loved her as a character, loved Ruth Myer's easy to read, good humoured style of writing which was completely right for the time and the genre but nevertheless had a style and voice of its own. It felt very real, the descriptions of the city and its down at heel areas was evocative and interesting. A most enjoyable book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lee Holz

    No Game For A Dame is a throwback to the hardboiled PI detective stories of the 1930s. All the conventions of the genre are observed in a fast paced, well-plotted and carefully crafted story of good guys and gangsters, except one. As the title implies, the feisty PI is, well, a dame, a broad. Sam Spade and Stephen Marlowe must be spinning in their literary graves. Anyway, the book is a delightful read. However, there were a few things that jarred and puzzled me: author Myers used two British idi No Game For A Dame is a throwback to the hardboiled PI detective stories of the 1930s. All the conventions of the genre are observed in a fast paced, well-plotted and carefully crafted story of good guys and gangsters, except one. As the title implies, the feisty PI is, well, a dame, a broad. Sam Spade and Stephen Marlowe must be spinning in their literary graves. Anyway, the book is a delightful read. However, there were a few things that jarred and puzzled me: author Myers used two British idioms (her bio indicates she’s thoroughly American) – “gaol” instead of “jail” and “windscreen” instead of “windshield.” I wonder if my kindle edition was edited for UK readers. Also, early in the book the year is given as 1941. Late in the book the PI reads about the Munich Pact in the local newspaper. The Munich agreement was in 1938. These minor things didn’t detract from my reading enjoyment.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Jones

    I got this off bookbub.com for free. The author has a novel take: a female detective set in noir fiction. I think she did a pretty nice job overall and with appealing characters. I could have used more character development, for example I liked Flora and would have liked to hear more about her. I though the mystery was pretty straight forward, about as complex as say a Robert B. Parker novel. I thought it’s was edited pretty well although I was sometimes confused about who was speaking. I though I got this off bookbub.com for free. The author has a novel take: a female detective set in noir fiction. I think she did a pretty nice job overall and with appealing characters. I could have used more character development, for example I liked Flora and would have liked to hear more about her. I though the mystery was pretty straight forward, about as complex as say a Robert B. Parker novel. I thought it’s was edited pretty well although I was sometimes confused about who was speaking. I thought the novel was slow in some places (especially at the beginning), but I liked the book overall.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lacey

    I REALLY wanted this book to be better then it was... But I just couldn't get past the fact that the murder mystery plot in this novel was so incredibly thin. What starts as a simple case for Maggie becomes increasingly more and more complicated with the turning of each page. Instead of the complexity bringing enjoyment to the reader all it brings is frustration. So in the end this became a DNF for me, I won't be picking up the next in this series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Godina

    This is the second book I've read by this author and I am not disappointed. Set in the depression era a female gumshoe (private investigator) takes on a job to see about the going ons of the nephew of a stationary business owner. Maggie Sullivan finds herself in the middle of murder, robbery, and gangsters... what do you expect from a daughter of a police officer. Great book with a strong and intelligent female would make a great tv movie. Ruth Myers I love how you weave a story..

  23. 5 out of 5

    Norma Huss

    This is an historical, tough-guy detective mystery set in the late 1930s with a woman as the tough guy dick. Best of several worlds. Maggie Sullivan does it all, shadows the bad guys, gets caught and escapes, figures it all out, survives near-fatal events, and comes up the winner (barely). Plenty of authentic historic details, which I especially like.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wyshona D. Lawson

    This was a really good mystery with several really strong, really smart women characters in a time when women were often overlooked for their brains. I will be reading more by this author and in this series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Frank Watson

    I have written elsewhere about my love for the old pulp stories, whether westerns, science fiction, or mysteries. Contemporary writers working in that vein can be entertaining but seldom completely successful. It seems to be just be too darned difficult to capture the essence of a time not lived through. Sometimes, however, a new work can combine the flavor of the classics with a modern sensibility. That can be a delight. NO GAME FOR A DAMN by M. Ruth Myers, the first in the Maggie Sullivan Myste I have written elsewhere about my love for the old pulp stories, whether westerns, science fiction, or mysteries. Contemporary writers working in that vein can be entertaining but seldom completely successful. It seems to be just be too darned difficult to capture the essence of a time not lived through. Sometimes, however, a new work can combine the flavor of the classics with a modern sensibility. That can be a delight. NO GAME FOR A DAMN by M. Ruth Myers, the first in the Maggie Sullivan Mysteries, is in that category. Maggie, the daughter of an Irish cop, is a private investigator in the 1930s. It was a time when few women worked outside the home, and especially in the exclusive male domain of criminal investigation. It is an interesting concept, though the writer would have to strike a delicate balance between keeping the story plausible for that time and also reflecting the realities and mindset of the modern woman. I had my doubts, but was willing to give it a go. The opening of the book sounded suspiciously tongue-in-cheek: "The guy with the bad toupee strolled into my office without bothering to knock. His mustard colored suit set off a barstool gut and a smirk that told his opinion of private eyes who wore skirts. 'Maggie Sullivan?' I kept filing my nails. 'Who’s asking?' 'You’re bothering a friend of mine.' My legs were crossed on my desk. I have great gams. Sometimes I don’t mind displaying the merchandise, but Mr. Hair wasn’t my cup of tea so I sat up…" It was entertaining, however, so I kept reading. I am glad I did. The further I got into the story the more I liked it. Myers worked in enough of the period to make it plausible, but more importantly developed Maggie into a believable character consistent with the times. She carried a .38 in her purse but also lived in a girls-only rooming house. The writing also became stronger as the story nears its conclusion, Myers wrote: "Indifferent to my questions the city around me kept its routine. From the Third Street Bridge the Art Institute glowed white and temple-like on its hill. Near the downtown end of the bridge, men with no other place to go were lining up at a shelter. What looked like a family with plenty of kids curled together under blankets by the steps of Sacred Heart. Time was running out…" I may have started out as a skeptic, but became a fan. Fortunately, there are quite a few more books in the series. I look forward to reading them, as well, to see if they are as enjoyable as this first in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Terrell

    If you take Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy set in the early 1900s New York City, and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone set in the mid-1980s Santa Teresa, California, and split the difference, you may end up with M. Ruth Myers Maggie Sullivan, a brash woman detective in late-1930s Dayton, Ohio. Even though written in the style of a 1930's hard-boiled detective story, Myers detective story, like the Murphy and Millhone series, walks the line between being to intense to be a cozy, and not hard enough to be a If you take Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy set in the early 1900s New York City, and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone set in the mid-1980s Santa Teresa, California, and split the difference, you may end up with M. Ruth Myers Maggie Sullivan, a brash woman detective in late-1930s Dayton, Ohio. Even though written in the style of a 1930's hard-boiled detective story, Myers detective story, like the Murphy and Millhone series, walks the line between being to intense to be a cozy, and not hard enough to be a police procedural. And for many, that's the sweet spot for an enjoyable read. A wealthy businessman's nephew seems to be up to no good, so he hires Maggie Sullivan to find out what is going on. As usual, the story evolves into something more. A thug visits Sullivan in her office and warns her off the investigation. But soon after, the thug is found dead, and Maggie, despite all the connections remaining from her dead father's life on the police force, is the first suspect. The story is well paced and filled with interesting characters. At times the plot may be a bit forced, but never so much that it dissolves into unbelievability. I would not place this in the rarified level of the Kinsey Millhone series, but then if that was a guide, my library would have few mysteries in it. If you're looking for an enjoyable yarn set in a simpler time, one that won't tax either your nerves or your sensitivities, this might be your cup of tea.

  27. 5 out of 5

    JJ

    I took a bit of a gamble buying this, I like your hard-boiled detective in films (Humphrey Bogart) but don’t often read about them. This had fairly decent reviews so....why not. I enjoyed it and Private Eye Maggie Sullivan proved not to be too hard-boiled. She is clever and resourceful and not one to wait around while the cops join the dots. And, what is nice, apart from being friendly with a couple of the older cops (policemen just doesn’t sound right) she knows through her late father being in t I took a bit of a gamble buying this, I like your hard-boiled detective in films (Humphrey Bogart) but don’t often read about them. This had fairly decent reviews so....why not. I enjoyed it and Private Eye Maggie Sullivan proved not to be too hard-boiled. She is clever and resourceful and not one to wait around while the cops join the dots. And, what is nice, apart from being friendly with a couple of the older cops (policemen just doesn’t sound right) she knows through her late father being in the force, she knows and likes quite a few clever resourceful women. The story is set before the outbreak of WWII (for Europe) when America is coming out of the Great Depression. Sullivan is asked by a client to look into the ‘completely out of character’ behaviour of his nephew and hopefully heir to his business. So far so bland. But then she gets threatened, her office is ransacked, she gets dunted on the head and left on the outskirts of town, she’s followed and spied on. It takes all her resources to work out what’s going on and that lands her in a very dangerous position. A new cop to the force is a bit of an annoyance but you can see an understanding developing. Hard boiled PIs, tough gangsters, Irish cops in downtown Dayton, what more could you ask. I’ll carry on with the series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    Great little book to read while sick over the Christmas holiday! I like the character of Maggie Sullivan. She's independent, intelligent, and can hold her own around men. While she can physically defend herself and financially support herself with no help from parents or relatives, she also knows she's a woman and is not afraid to show off her legs when necessary (to get help or information from a guy, I suppose). Her character has never traveled outside of Ohio (even Dayton perhaps; I can't reme Great little book to read while sick over the Christmas holiday! I like the character of Maggie Sullivan. She's independent, intelligent, and can hold her own around men. While she can physically defend herself and financially support herself with no help from parents or relatives, she also knows she's a woman and is not afraid to show off her legs when necessary (to get help or information from a guy, I suppose). Her character has never traveled outside of Ohio (even Dayton perhaps; I can't remember), so she also has the hometown advantage of knowing nearly everyone and having a working relationship with most of the police force; it's helpful her late father was a cop. Of course she got the bad guy in the end (with little to no help from the male cop who seems to have taken a shine to her although his rough Irish side hasn't openly revealed that attraction yet). She reminds me of an older, tougher Nancy Drew. Ms. Drew had the advantage of being in a well-to-do family and knowing other well-to-do people. Maggie seems to have learned independence and self-preservation from her dad, as well as having been born with bullheadedness and fearlessness. Downloaded this book for free on Nook through a special offer (Bookbub). Looking forward to reading other books in the series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Hard boiled noir, I guess. Takes place in Ohio (my hometown) between the depression and WWII. I mention that because the times play a definite role in the background and in understanding the psychology of the story. I did read #3 in this series first, just because I came across it before #1. Luckily, this doesn't seem to be the kind of series where the order makes a big difference. Maggie Sullivan is a self employed private eye, having learned a lot of necessary skills from her deceased father w Hard boiled noir, I guess. Takes place in Ohio (my hometown) between the depression and WWII. I mention that because the times play a definite role in the background and in understanding the psychology of the story. I did read #3 in this series first, just because I came across it before #1. Luckily, this doesn't seem to be the kind of series where the order makes a big difference. Maggie Sullivan is a self employed private eye, having learned a lot of necessary skills from her deceased father who was a policeman. She depends on her intelligence and her friends, plus common working class people she meets, to figure out what's going on. In some more poorly written books, characters constantly keep posing questions, which I hate. Myers does this too, but in an intelligent way as Maggie ponders different solutions and raises different questions and theories. Maggie is gutsy, bold, clever, and doesn't take crap from anyone. In No Game For a Dame, Maggie is hired by an office supply business owner to find out what's going on with his nephew, who's also his valued employee. Lots of guns, abductions, murders, threats. What the heck is going on? Can Maggie figure it out? ( Of course!) A fun, complicated plot I did not figure out ahead of time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    No Game for a Dame> is a fun read, full of deftly drawn, quirky characters. I usually don't like novels set in the depression era, because they are, well, depressing. But this, the first book in the Maggie Sullivan mystery series, does not fall into that trap at all. Maggie is the daughter of a cop, raised among cop families. She should have been a police officer. But in the 1930s, that wasn't an option for a girl. So, she became a private investigator. Part of the charm of this series is t No Game for a Dame> is a fun read, full of deftly drawn, quirky characters. I usually don't like novels set in the depression era, because they are, well, depressing. But this, the first book in the Maggie Sullivan mystery series, does not fall into that trap at all. Maggie is the daughter of a cop, raised among cop families. She should have been a police officer. But in the 1930s, that wasn't an option for a girl. So, she became a private investigator. Part of the charm of this series is the vivid descriptions of city life in the 1930s. Maggie Sullivan does her detective work in person, without the benefit of internet searches, CSI labs, tape recorders, or even easy access to copy machines. She drives her DeSoto through grungy back alleys, cruises the parking lots of high roller clubs, and charms information from cigarette girls and businessmen. And no matter how many bad guys she encounters, she has to be home to her girls-only rooming house by 11 p.m., or her landlady locks her out.

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