Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel :
A Skip Langdon Mystery - New Orleans Mourning
Official website :
A Talba Wallis Mystery
Book 1 : Louisiana Hotshot
Book 2 : Louisiana Bigshot
Book 3 : Louisiana Lament
Book 4 : P.I. on a Hot Tin Roof
Description on official website :
She has three names and two sets of clothes, four different professions, precious few scruples about breaking the law, and a perennially nagging mama. A girl who came into the world named Urethra just has to have attitude. And attitude's the first thing you notice about the Baroness de Pontalba, as she calls herself in her night mode as a glamorous poet and performance artist. By day, she'd be a humble private eye if she had an ounce of humility.
When required, she’s an office temp because who’d suspect her of ransacking the boss’s hard disk while everyone’s on break? Or carrying a purseful of electronic bugs? She’s got what her mentor called the “right demographics” for spying without getting noticed–she’s young, African-American, female, and dresses like a Catholic school girl. Her fourth profession?
Computer genius. Hardware, software, code-slinging, hacking–you name it, she can do it. At home, she has an entire closet full of white blouses and navy skirts for her day gig and another of flowing silks in fabulous colors for her stunning night persona. Who’d imagine such a complex, independent woman would live with her mother? Talba does.
Miz Clara calls her "Sandra" most of the time, never 'your grace", like most of her admirers. It's hard to get respect from Miz Clara. She thinks there are only three suitable professions for a child of hers - doctor, Speaker of the House and president. So Talba doesn't have to use her computer skills to bring in money and prestige - Miz Clara's never going to be happy anyway. Instead, she searches for other people's answers - and her own as well, which, perhaps, is the point.
I'm not sure where to start. It's a detective series which breaks my habit of reading tons and tons of fantasy series. Obviously it was, once again, the New Orleans theme that caught my interest. I read the first book and I was sold. An old yearning for mystery awoken and I couldn't get enough. In no time I've finished the entire four book series, which will hopefully be continued on. Talba, better known as the Baroness de Pontalba or "your grace", is this spirited character that seems to be this unstoppable force of nature and nothing can stop her from doing what she wants, or what she feels like she needs to do. The intricate cases she stumbles upon as a P.I. show what a criminal mastermind the authoress Julie Smith is. It doesn't surprise me at all that she is an award winning authoress. Anyone who is looking for an exciting, thrilling book series to read should give Talba a try. I'm sure you're going to love it!