“…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