Cold Call by Dianne Emley. Iris Thorne gave up her teaching job to become a stockbroker in Los Angeles. She loves it, even though the hours suck and the men she works with treat her like a Barbie doll. The only person in the office who she really connects with is the guy from the mailroom, known as Alley. He's deaf and physically handicapped, but having taught the deaf, Iris is comfortable with sign language, and is the only one at the firm who communicates with him.
One day, Alley doesn't show up for work, and it turns out he's been killed while going home from work. The police set it aside as a gang conflict gone awry, but Iris knows that Alley was not part of a gang. He leaves Iris the key to a safe deposit box which turns out to contain over $200,000 in cash. Not only does she suspect that there's something fishy going on at the firm, but the lead detective on the case is her college boyfriend, John Somers, who just makes her confused.
Cold Call was originally released in the late 1990s, and has just been re-issued as an e-book. Set in the 1980s, the story provides a realistic look back on times when females in the business world were still treated boorishly and cell phones were rare. Ms. Emley's first book, this was an enjoyable read, and an interesting comparison to her more recent works.
*Many thanks to the author, who sent me a digital copy of the book for review purposes.