Cover image for Morgue Mama : the cross kisses back
Morgue Mama : the cross kisses back
Corwin, C. R.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Scottsdale, Ariz. : Poisoned Pen Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
230 pages ; 23 cm.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In the world of newspapers, the morgue is the place - usually somewhere in the bowels of the building - where old story clippings are filed away. Dolly Madison Sprowls has been in charge of The Hannawa Herald-Union's morgue for more than 40 years. She is gruff and salty, well past the age of retirement, and the unchallenged queen of her ink-stained domain. Reporters call her Morgue Mama - but only behind her back.

Maddy's well-ordered world is turned upside-down when the paper hires 24-year-old Aubrey McGinty for its police beat. Aubrey loses no time in questioning the conviction of Sissy James for the murder of TV evangelist Buddy Wing. Sissy had confessed live on television, and the evidence seems overwhelming, but the ambitious young reporter doesn't believe she did it. But why did Sissy embrace guilt? Aubrey enlists Maddy's help and together they begin a harrowing search for the truth. Digging into the files, they soon - dangerously - uncover enough suspects to fill a studio with those who do the devil's work.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Corwin's witty and engaging caper, the start of a new series, newspaper archivist Dolly Madison Sprowls (called Morgue Mama "behind her back") and a determined cub reporter, Aubrey McGinty, team up to investigate the poisoning of TV evangelist Buddy Wing at the Heaven Bound Cathedral in "the Hallelujah city" of Hannawa, Ohio. Part satire and part social commentary, the story is far from a standard whodunit, since Aubrey, rather than finding the culprit, seems bent only on clearing the name of convict Sissy James, the badly abused ex-girlfriend of a rival preacher. The irrepressible, 67-year-old Maddy (as she prefers to be called), a lonely divorc?e clinging to her post as manager of the Hannawa Herald-Union's morgue, helps Aubrey search the newspaper's records, which yield a multitude of suspects, some amusing and some tragic, but each adding an intriguing dimension to the ever more complex case. Smalltown politics and office love affairs entangle almost everyone except poor Maddy, whose existence before now has revolved around filing news articles in steel cabinets for brash reporters to paw through. Her matchup with Aubrey brings her and the reader genuine excitement right through the stunning conclusion to this lively adventure. (Oct. 1) FYI: A former newspaper reporter, Corwin is the pseudonym of Rob Levandoski, author most recently of the satirical novel Fresh Eggs. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Retirement-aged but still formidable newspaper librarian Dolly Madison Sprowls teams up with youthful police reporter Aubrey McGinty to investigate a recent murder case. The woman convicted of poisoning a local televangelist appears to have been framed, even though she confessed to the crime. After digging through the newspaper morgue, Dolly and Aubrey question staff at the evangelist's church, reconstruct the crime, and come up with plenty of other suspects. Meanwhile, Aubrey looks into police corruption and the murder of a prostitute. Serviceable prose, knotty characters, and major unexpected plot twists should endear this first novel to most readers. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.