ADDRESSES: Office—Basic Books, 387 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10016.
CAREER: Basic Books, New York, NY, vice president and publisher.
(Editor, with Deirdre Kennedy) Irish Family Law Handbook (nonfiction), Butterworths (Dublin, Ireland), 1999.
Thinner, Blonder, Whiter (mystery novel), Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Elizabeth Maguire's first novel, Thinner, Blonder, Whiter, takes place in the world of publishing. As a publisher at Basic Books herself, Maguire knows the setting well. The protagonist of Thinner, Blonder, Whiter is Julia, an editor at a company that publishes many works of African-American scholarship. Julia, who is white, has an intermittent affair with one of her authors, a married man who is a dynamic public speaker as well as a writer. Julia's world is shaken when Fitz, a gentle, unassuming man who was her brother's best friend, is brutally murdered. The motive is mysterious, but Fitz's corpse is disposed of by the killers in a way that suggests his death was meant to send a message to someone. Another complication comes when one of the most important authors on Julia's roster disappears during a fundraising dinner honoring African-American achievement. Julia soon becomes friendly with Thomas Lynch, the detective who is investigating both the murder and the missing person. A Kirkus Reviews writer had reservations about the "slapdash plotting" in Thinner, Blonder, Whiter, but a Publishers Weekly reviewer praised the sharp characterizations and dialog of Julia's "smart-aleck publishing pals," and credited the author with creating "a provocative denouement."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2002, review of Thinner, Blonder, Whiter, p. 1478.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2002, review of Thinner, Blonder, Whiter, p. 529.
Publishers Weekly, May 27, 2002, review of Thinner, Blonder, Whiter, and Laura Mathews, interview with Elizabeth Maguire, p. 41.