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Stormy Weather

Woods, Paula L.

Editore: One World/Ballantine, 2003
ISBN 10: 0449007243 / ISBN 13: 9780449007242
Usato / Quantità: 1
Da Nearfine Books (Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A.)
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Titolo: Stormy Weather

Casa editrice: One World/Ballantine

Data di pubblicazione: 2003

Condizione libro: very good


Gently used. Expect delivery in 20 days. Codice inventario libreria 9780449007242-3

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Riassunto: Despite her education and training, Charlotte Justice has concluded that being a black female in the Los Angeles Police Department is no day at the beach. Instead, the elite homicide detective?s days are filled with incompetence, bigotry, and the mayhem of the streets.

First, Charlotte confronts the work of a self-styled ?angel of mercy? that her colleagues helped convict . . . and who may have an active accomplice still at large. And now she faces the baffling case of Maynard Duncan, a pioneering African American film director and community activist who was all but forgotten?until he was found dead in his elegant Hancock Park home. Was it an accident, murder, or suicide?by his own hand or with assistance?

As Charlotte unravels Duncan?s tangled web of relationships?family, friends, business associates, and secret liaisons?she finds herself on a journey from Hollywood myth to L.A. reality. It?s a journey where Charlotte must risk everything?her career, her relationships, even her life?to hunt down a murderer hell-bent on exacting the ultimate revenge. . . .

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Recensione: Penzler Pick, September 2001: This is the author's second book featuring Los Angeles homicide detective Charlotte Justice (the first was Inner City Blues). Paula Woods, who earlier wrote Spooks, Spies and Private Eyes, a fascinating nonfiction study of the African American sleuth in fiction, follows where other black women mystery writers such as Blanche Neely and Eleanor Taylor Bland have led, while putting her own stamp on the form.

While Charlotte Justice makes for an admirably complex heroine, always serious and ambitious in her approach to her law-enforcement career, what really lies at the heart of Woods's books (and gives them their complexity) is the relationship between Charlotte and the large, embracing clan to which she belongs. The "Nut House" is what she calls her parents' home, located in an upper-middle-class black L.A. neighborhood, and inside its walls there is always a surfeit of bantering, advice-giving, juicy anecdote-telling relatives on hand, a contemporary Greek chorus commenting on Charlotte's cases and on her life. Inner City Blues and Stormy Weather are both more than mysteries: they are the equivalent of family albums.

In her latest adventure, Charlotte sets to work, unofficially, on a case in which a legendary black filmmaker and social activist, the elderly Maynard Duncan, has just died of cancer. The trouble is that there is a strong possibility that his path apparently crossed that of a killer nurse known as the "Angel of Mercy," recently convicted in the deaths of several black men in geriatric care.

Several plot threads eventually converge, and some readers will undoubtedly complain that Woods provides a lot more talk than action. But, when all's said and done, her creative ambitions can only be applauded. Whether she's imagining an early 1940s black mystery film set in Watts (Murder in Mudtown, complete with musical numbers), or dispatching Charlotte on a dangerous collision course with a corrupt LAPD superior, Woods never shirks from the more difficult scenarios, the sort that can be pretty challenging to tidily tie up.

One of those satisfying mystery moments comes at the end of Stormy Weather when our heroine realizes that what she has been seeking has been hiding in plain sight all along. The denouement manages to be both melodramatic and satisfying, with all the loose ends firmly tucked away. --Otto Penzler

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