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Cover image for 77th street requiem : a Maggie MacGowen mystery
77th street requiem : a Maggie MacGowen mystery
Other title(s):
Seventy-seventh street requiem
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton, 1995.
Physical Description:
273 pages ; 24 cm
Number in series:
As filmmaker Maggie MacGowen begins research for a film on the murder of a Los Angeles policeman--which may have links to the black Synmbionese Liberation Army--things start happening. A police buddy of the officer is shot, a striptease dancer is stabbed and MacGowen's own house is set on fire. By the author of Bad Intent.


Call Number

On Order


Author Notes

Wendy Hornsby, Wendy Hornsby is a native of southern California born in 1947. She attended UCLA and California State University, Long Beach, and holds graduate degrees in Ancient and Medieval History. She went on after graduation to teach history at Long Beach City College for 10 years.

Her first book, "No Harm" (1987), received critical acclaim. The Maggie MacGowen mystery, "77th Street Requiem," was named one of the six best mysteries of 1995 by Publisher's Weekly Magazine. Hornsby has written several mystery novels and short stories and has received the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Reviewers Choice Award for Best Contemporary Suspense from Romantic Times Magazine, the Mystery Scene Reader Award, the Orange Coast Fiction Award, and has been nominated for the Anthony Boucher Award.

Wendy Hornsby added a new title to her Maggie MacGowen mystery novels in 2009- In The Guise of Mercy.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Street life and the surreal political culture of the 1970s combine explosively, making Edgar Award winner Hornsby's fourth Maggie MacGowen novel (following Bad Intent) a tour de force. Independent filmmaker Maggie has a contract with a TV network to produce a documentary on the unsolved 1974 murder of L.A. cop Roy Frady, who made a name for himself in the LAPD's anti-gang unit, CRASH. She's especially eager for what the project may tell her about her lover, Detective Mike Flint, who was one of Frady's best friends. More than one gang member, striving for street credibility, claimed to have killed Frady, but none of their stories held up. Now, as Maggie talks to former wives and lovers of the dead cop, she finds that the trail leads to the Symbionese Liberation Army and the kidnapping of Patti Hearst. Then, just as she thinks she might be getting a handle on Frady's life and death, her sources are killed off. As devastating as the trip back to 1974 is for Maggie, it becomes even more harrowing for Mike, who must own up to the follies of his youth. Hornsby's powerful writing and her equally thought-provoking story blend to make this one of the most gripping, compelling mysteries of the year. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

Filmmaker/sleuth Maggie MacGowen (Bad Intent, 1994, etc.) has a new projecta network documentary on the 20-year-old unsolved murder of Roy Frady, a cop with the 77th precinct of LAPD. Maggie has been living for some time with LAPD's Mike Flint, who, back then, made a tight foursome with police buddies Roy, Hector Melendez, and Doug Senecalspending time in the same bars, having sex with the same whorish women, etc. Maggie is intrigued by a possible connection to the short-lived Symbionese Liberation Army, of Patty Hearst fame, rumored to be holed up in LA at the time, with FBI agent Chuck Kellenburger in watchful pursuit. That was then. Right now strange things are happening as Maggie goes about the business of talking to those close to or on the fringes of the old murder: Hector Melendez dies in a seemingly unrelated crime; Michelle Tarbetta former topless dancer, scheduled for an interview, is found stabbed to death; JoAnn Chin, another of Roy's women, has had her face smashed; and someone set fire to Maggie's home office in the middle of the night. That incident puts Maggie on a circuitous trail that finally closes the book on Roy Frady's murder. Despite an overload of plot twists and sleazy sex, plus weakly constructed motivation, this is strong stuff. Hornsby's tension- filled, offbeat world will hold the reader to the end.

Booklist Review

Hornsby's latest book is a fascinating blend of speculation and fact, using the Symbionese Liberation Army's 1974 kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst as one factual piece in a fictional murder story about a 20-year-old unsolved cop killing. Maggie MacGowen, Hornsby's feisty filmmaker-turned-detective, is making a documentary on the 1974 murder of L.A. cop Roy Frady, who turned up full of bullet holes one night in a burned-out house near the SLA's hideout. Frady was one of the Four Whoresmen, a bunch of hard-drinking, womanizing, carousing cops that also included Maggie's boyfriend, Detective Mike Flint, and cops Hector Melendez and Doug Senecal. As Maggie gathers background for her film, she interviews dozens of Frady's friends, colleagues, and sex partners but soon finds herself facing a confusing array of time-distorted facts, murky half-truths, and disjointed stories about the fateful night Frady was murdered. When someone tries to kidnap Maggie and burn her house down, it's obvious that her probing has uncovered some dangerous secrets perhaps better left buried. A cunningly convoluted, suspense-filled plot and a quirky, likable heroine are only two of the many strengths of this exciting, thoroughly captivating read. --Emily Melton