As Eva Maria Staal’s debut novel, “Try the Morgue,” opens, Maria, her 25-year-old protagonist, has been lured by the promise of a “better salary and more ‘intelligent’ work” into taking a position as assistant to Jimmy Liu, an international arms dealer. Before long, she shows a talent for the cutthroat negotiating and fearless (often illegal) travel necessary in this field, and her duties expand.
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