Go Close Against The Enemy (Nick and Julia Lambros)

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9780373263141: Go Close Against The Enemy (Nick and Julia Lambros)

Nick and Julia come to the aid of an interracial couple who is trying to bury their stillborn baby in the cemetery of her predominately white church. When the deacon leads a protest, the mother threatens him with a gun and is accused of murder when he turns up dead days later. Martin's Press.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Nick and Julia Lambros, owners of a small restaurant in the college town of Delphi, Georgia, are dismayed by the actions of sanctimonious Walter Fry, married deacon of Mount Sinai Tabernacle Church. Fry is leading a loud vocal protest by church members as still-born Damien Folsom is being buried in the churchs cemetery. Damiens father, Davon, is black. His mother is April, the white daughter of the churchs minister, Reverend Allen McNabb. After the funeral, a nasty scene ensues when a stressed-out April threatens Fry with a gun. Shes slapped by her father, and the gun is thrown into the shrubbery. The same night, Fry is found shot to death on his kitchen floor, killed by the same gun, and April is taken into custody. Aware of her success in solving a previous crime (So Dear to Wicked Men, 1996), April appeals to Julia for help. After a reluctant go-ahead from Louis Humphries, Aprils lawyer, Julia begins to search Frys background, turning up plenty thats unsavorya succession of young black mistresses; partnership in a raunchy dance hall, shifty money dealings, and more. A pair of local brutes lurk constantly in the background, eventually sending Davon to the hospital with life- threatening injuries. In the end, its a tiny piece of evidence and a complex theory that will free April and nail a killer. A rambling, sporadically suspenseful plot enlivened by some well-drawn characters and by the authors heartfelt take on lingering racial injustice. -- Copyright 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

Julia Lambros narrates this very contemporary cozy in which she assists in the running of her husband's Greek cafein Delphi, Georgia. Nick and Julia have a cute dog, a huge and endearing cook, Spiro, from Crete, and an interesting way of fitting their urban ethnicity into their small southern town--they're sleuths. The death of a young interracial couple's baby brings protesters when the child is buried in a white cemetery, and although few mourn the murder of the preacher who sparked the protest, few are surprised when the child's mother, April, caught on video with the gun, is arrested. Julia believes firmly in April's innocence, however, especially when thugs attack April's husband while he guards his son's grave. Although the themes are dark--racism, drink and gambling, good-ole-boy intimidation, and religious fundamentalism--Julia's upbeat and wry persona keeps the story moving. With a title taken from Tyrtaeus of Sparta and keywords defined at the head of each chapter, this book by a husband-and-wife writing team keeps readers turning the pages. GraceAnne A. DeCandido

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