A Mystery Book Duet to Read on Galentine’s Day

By Alison Bunis

As I’m sure you know, today is everyone’s favorite female friendship holiday. That’s right―happy Galentine’s Day! How are you celebrating? Sitting in a cozy room with all your female friends while you each read a book? Though I suggested that, my friends opted for a more classic going-out-to-dinner-together-style celebration.

For the uninitiated, the delightful holiday of Galentine’s Day was invented by Leslie Knope on the television show Parks and Recreation in 2010. That year, Leslie told viewers that although February 14th is about romance, she makes February 13th about celebrating the awesome ladies in her life. The amazing idea has caught on, and now Galentine’s Day is everywhere you go. Stores have sales on girl-power and female-friendship related items. Late night shows do gal-pal related segments. Celebrities post pictures of themselves on their Galentine’s Day outings.

Naturally, we at Forge don’t want to be left out. We’ve scoured our list to find the perfect gal-pal mystery books to celebrate this esteemed holiday, and we’ve hit on a winning pair: Design for Dying and its sequel, Dangerous to Know, by Renee Patrick.

Seriously, if you haven’t read them what are you waiting for? They’re set in Los Angeles during the 1930s, aka Hollywood’s Golden Age, and one of the heroines is a fictionalized version of real-life designer Edith Head, who was the inspiration for the visual appearance of the character Edna Mode in The Incredibles. Edith’s partner-in-crime-solving is Lillian Frost, a plucky, fast-talking girl who had dreams of stardom, but is now just another department store salesgirl. When the pair meet in Design for Dying, a party girl’s murder has landed Lillian on the suspect list and put Edith’s job at Paramount Pictures in jeopardy. So of course, the two team up to solve the case themselves, and in the process they forge a fantastic friendship.

Their adventures continue in Dangerous to Know, where Edith and Lillian deal with career challenges, see the war clouds gathering over Europe, run into the likes of Jack Benny and Marlene Dietrich, and unravel intrigue extending from Paramount’s Bronson Gate to FDR’s Oval Office. All while dressed to the nines, of course―this is Hollywood, after all.

So come on, make Leslie Knope proud: tell your gal pals you love them, grab a couple books, and read about ladies celebrating ladies.