Imprint:Random House Large Print
Audience:General / adult
Dimensions:9.19in x 6.07 x 0.78 in | 0.74 lb
Page Count:304 pages
MOMENTUM: Smiley’s previous novel, Perestroika in Paris, was an instant national best seller. The book charmed audiences during a covid winter and was praised for its light touch and wholesome fun. We’ve netted more than 60k copies across formats, with the paperback poised to launch this November.
ATMOSPHERE: A Dangerous Business is a whimsical mystery, a portrait of two headstrong friends that also manages to show us the underbelly of a distinctive time and place—a combination that worked beautifully in Perestroika.
HEROINE: Eliza Ripple is a fun and feisty heroine—widow turned prostitute, unlikely amateur detective, naif turned woman of the world. She is a product of the era, straitened by circumstances, but also a self-starter.
SETTING: Monterey in the 1850s is a wonderful setting for Smiley, full of vivid landscapes and glimpses into a crucial turning point in American history.
GENRE: Not since Duplicate Keys in 1984 has Smiley dipped a toe into the mystery form. We know her readers will follow this ever-versatile writer wherever she goes.
CROSS PROMOTION: Simultaneous publication with the Knopf hardcover.
A CHICAGO REVIEW OF BOOKS MUST READ • A POPSUGAR THRILLING NEW MYSTERY BOOK OF THE YEAR
“Pulitzer-winning Smiley’s evocative sense of place and nuanced exploration of women’s roles in nineteenth-century American life nicely complement the portrait of Eliza and her determined effort to forge her own path…Highly recommended.”
—Christine Tran, Booklist (starred)
“A remarkable story of the California gold rush and a pair of sex worker sleuths…The vivid historical details and vibrant characters bring Smiley’s setting to glorious life. This seductive entertainment is not to be missed.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed)
“Jane Smiley has a book coming out later this year that is superb, now you know.”
—Rumaan Alam, via Twitter
“The forthcoming Jane Smiley novel, A Dangerous Business, is so outstanding. Her sentences are sublime.”
—Roxane Gay, via Twitter