I've read all but one of Sarah Dunant's novels set in Renaissance Italy, but I knew she had started her published writings with crime. Three of them feature P.I. Hannah Wolfe. Being written in 1992, it is unnerving to read a book where no one has a mobile phone, and so solving an investigation is so very different from today, a mere 25 years on. It's in the style of Chandler with a struggling, lonesome private investigator, full of sardonic quips and cynical views of life, but also a single woman aware of her place in society and in the eyes of other people - both men and women. This gives the book a nice edge without it feeling as if it is dealing with "issues". The plot is speedy but filled with sadness as well as mystery. It's interesting to see a well established author at the beginning of their career, especially as her recent books have such different settings, though they still concern women swimming against the expected tide. If you want a short, thoughtful crime page-turner this fits the bill, though as it is out of print in UK, I read it as a gift from someone who loves second-hand bookshops.