Miss Bidwell's Spirit
Claire Bidwell, a recent graduate of journalism school and offspring of a rich and influential family, takes a job as a reporter for the River City Dispatch in New Jersey because (to her amazement) the New York Times didn't invite her to join them upon reception of her application and college clippings.
Just a short trip across the Hudson river from New York, River City is from another era. It's still run by an old time political machine headed by Johnny Crehan, aka "Johnny Crayons," given that affectionate moniker by his Italian allies during his first campaign.
Claire Bidwell decides he's corrupt and plans to use an exposé of him as her ticket to the Times. At first it seems hopeless. Claire has no idea how to even start.
But then she gets unexpected help from Gene Fennessy, former editor of the Dispatch and Pulitzer prize winner. He becomes her mentor, giving her a crash course in real life reporting and a native's understanding of the way the political process runs in River City.
But even River City isn't immune to the changing times. There's been an influx of new immigrant blood and young suburbanites have been moving into the downtown area. Individualists, they're restless for change and have no loyalty to the way the city's politics -- or politicians -- have always operated.
When Dr. Bob Ritter, a rising young challenger, comes along they're eager to embrace and his Good Government Now platform. Claire sees this as her chance to finally bring Johnny Crayons down.
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