LINDA GRANT – A Woman’s Place. Catherine Sayler #4. Charles Scribner’s Sons, hardcover, 1994. Ivy, paperback, 1995.

   This is Grant’s first book since 1991, and I was beginning to be afraid she’d left the field. I thought that she along with Kijewski was one of the most promising newcomers to the female private eye group.

   Catherine and her partner Jesse aren’t your typical private eyes. They specialize in corporate security with a focus on computers, and here they are hired by a software firm to investigate sexual harassment in the form of pranks and computer mail. The firm has just been taken over a smaller one, and the male employees of the acquired firm seem to be having a difficult time adjusting to the larger firm’s corporate culture.

   Catherine and Jesse both go undercover and begin to work on the problem from separate angles. They discover that there is indeed a large problem, and no shortage of potential suspects. Catherine herself becomes a target of harassment, and then there is a murder.

   I believe this is Grant’s best book to date. It;s a book a man could have written nearly so effectively, and a powerful statement about not only sexual harassment in the workplace, but of the difficulties our legal systems have in dealing with the problems of sexual abuse in general.

   I continue to regard Sayler as one of the better characaterized protagonists in the field, as are her niece Molly, her atypical PI lover Peter, and her cop ex-husband Dan. Grant is a very good prose stylist, telling her story cleanly and without flamboyance. She manages to be intense about her subject without being hysterical, and holds her heroine’s Ramba-esque antics to a minimum. Excellent writer, interesting characters, good book.

— Reprinted from Ah Sweet Mysteries #12, March 1994.

      The Catherine Sayler series —

Random Access Murder (1988).

Blind Trust (1990).
Love Nor Money (1991).

A Woman’s Place (1994).
Lethal Genes (1996).
Vampire Bytes (1998).