“…the fun, frenetic pace of a typical Talba Wallis caper. This is an effective mix of household drama, political corruption, and old-style murder mystery.” -Booklist
“This spicy gumbo of steamy mystery, saucy humor and piquant social commentary should appeal to discriminating crime fans.” -Publishers Weekly
“If you haven’t read Smith before, this is the time to start. If you’re a fan, you’re in for yet another tread.” – Marcia Muller, bestselling author of Dead Midnight
Your lawyer needs you to bail her out? Isn’t that kind of backwards?
So thinks PI Talba Wallis, on her way to Parish Prison—and indeed something’s badly amiss.
New Orleans’ most dynamic detective duo, poet/computer genius Talba and street-savvy Luddite Eddie Valentino, have a personal interest in this one—Eddie’s lawyer daughter Angie’s been set up for a drug bust.
Prominent Judge Buddy Champagne’s the obvious perp and Talba’s so mad she embeds herself in his house as a spy—but she doesn’t count on ending up with a family straight out of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; nor did she realize how involved she was going to get—especially with Buddy’s 14-year-old daughter Lucy.
It works, though, She uncovers plenty of evidence the judge is dirty. And then things get ugly: Somebody kills Buddy and Talba’s true identity comes to light. The Champagnes hate her at this point, but guess what? They hire her to solve the case.
There are plenty of mysterious twists and turns on the way to an ending guaranteed to surprise—but the real joy here is in the relationships, especially Talba’s with Lucy, who, it turns out, is a budding poet. And with another little girl, her boy friend’s bratty daughter Raisa. She’s SO not prepared for quasi-motherhood!
“(Talba) Wallis is fine fun to get to know… a consistently interesting and likable woman of depth and complexity.” -The Washington Post on Louisiana Bigshot
Like many elite private schools, Madison High has a legacy steeped in traditions, none of which revolve around learning. Survival is simple: keep your head down, don’t say a word, and never question school royalty.
Cody James, a former victim of Madison’s vicious brand of hazing, wants nothing more than to graduate without breaking the unspoken rules that could land him back in social exile. Cody has breached the elusive inner circle, and he has no intention of losing his hard-earned security. But a beautiful new student shakes up his plan to coast by and causes him question his role as sidekick to the king of the school.
As the only daughter of rock legend Donnie Wyld, Skylar has been homeschooled her entire life. Now she wants normal, and she hopes that Madison High will offer her an escape from her father’s deteriorating health. She never intended on catching the eye of the school’s self-elected king or falling for his confusing best friend. But one look at Cody James, and she is drawn in by his guarded vulnerability.
When an average Friday night party turns into a nightmare, Cody is forced to make a decision—fight or follow. But standing up for the bullied and broken means facing a past he’s long buried and risking the future he’s worked so hard to achieve.
Jem Beagle has always loved Katy. His offer of marriage rescues her but personal tragedy divides them. Jem leaves his beloved Wiltshire to become a reluctant soldier on the battlefields of World War One. Katy is left behind, restless and alone.
Lionel White, just returned from being a missionary in India, brings a dash of colour to the small village, and offers Katy a window on the wider world.
Katy decides she has to play her part in the global struggle and joins the war effort as a WAAC girl. She finally breaks free from the stifling Edwardian hierarchies that bind her but the brutality of global war brings home the price she has paid for her search.
“Absorbing, involving, unputdownable, honest, great characterisation”.
Indie Book Bargains Featured Author Book of the day June 25th 2013 and was chosen to be in the first edition of the Fussy Librarian’s selection.
There is now a sequel, Peace Lily, http://amzn.to/1zxG8aL (UK) and http://amzn.to/1vHCMhc (US)
available to purchase on Amazon. Find out how these characters fared after the Armistice when they entered a new, modern age. They have to carve out new lives in a changed world, having survived the war only to find new challenges they hadn’t expected, when they return home.
In the constant hubbub of life in a huge family Anna’s distress is overlooked, until she completely stops eating at the age of seventeen. Fearing the worst, Anna’s mother takes her to see Dr. Ellison, a cool competent psychiatrist, who immediately hospitalizes Anna on the fifth floor of the local hospital.
Even under the guidance of Dr. Ellison and the caring staff, Anna is defiant. She trusts no one. She guards the past like her life depends on it. Will she ever share the truth so she can heal?