Amy Gray
Created by Amy Gray

"You're on boycott. I'm sending you a one-way ticket to disstown."
-- an old boyfriend dismisses Amy

In her 2003 roman à clef Spygirl, New York writer Amy Gray relates her "True Adventures from My Life as a Private Eye."

Gray was a twenty-something flunkie toiling away in the New York publishing world when she chucked it all and went to work for a Manhatten detective agency for three years. She nails the dreariness of modern day private investigation (she worked mostly on internet financial cases and mountains of paperwork), while offering a you-are-there take on being a young, hip New Yorker cut loose, with plenty of tales of her childhood and her social life (she goes to a lot of bars and sleeps with a lot of guys, despite assuring her parents in a humourous dedication that "the drugs and rock'n'roll are made up. And I've never had sex."), and a huge cast of wonderfully oddball clients, suspects and coworkers.

The result is an entertaining mix of Sex in the City chick lit sauciness, riot grrl spunk and Raymond Chandler snark, alternately brash, funny and revealing.

But what really makes it all worthwhile is Gray's willingness to call bullshit on everyone around her -- including herself.

Evidently, the girl can't help it. But it makes for a great read.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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