Do or Die: A Mali Anderson Mystery

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9780553580587: Do or Die: A Mali Anderson Mystery
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A songbird is silenced ... by murder.

With her soulful voice and delicate beauty, Starr Hendrix seemed destined to live up to her name and hit it big as a jazz singer. But her career ended before it began, and Mali's father offered Starr a second chance by giving her top billing as singer for his popular jazz band's latest show. Mali isn't surprised when Starr doesn't show — but everyone is shocked when the troubled woman is found savagely murdered....

The prime suspect is a low-life pimp with a grudge against Starr. But then the pimp stops a bullet — and everyone suspects Starr's devastated father of exacting his own revenge. Mali vows to use her experience as a former cop to find the real killer. Her search will take her in and out of the "three B's" of Harlem: the beauty shops, barbershops, and the bars. But it will also lead Mali directly into the path of a killer — one who, if not stopped, will almost surely strike again....

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Review:

Grace Edwards's Mali Anderson series (If I Should Die, A Toast Before Dying, No Time to Die) takes readers on a veritable walking tour of Harlem's institutions and inhabitants. This time out, Mali, a former cop, strolls off a QE2 jazz cruise and straight into murder. Her jazz musician father's pianist, Ozzie Hendrix, has returned from a gig in Newport to find his daughter Starr, a budding singer trying to recover from a heroin addiction, with her throat slashed. With friends and family devastated, Mali's method of detection is anything but by the book, much to the dismay of her boyfriend, detective Tad Honeywell. Her best informers are a slew of Harlem beauticians:

Bertha, my 20-year friend, owns Bertha's Beauty Salon and is a reliable source of street news, gossip, and any scandal worth repeating. She has been on the same location on Eighth Avenue years before it was renamed for Frederick Douglass, and she doesn't have to poke her head out the door to catch a whisper. It flows in automatically as early as 7 a.m., when the regulars from Miss Laura's luncheonette arrive with breakfast and news hotter than grits.
Rumor has it that Starr's death was a brutal payback for her efforts to distance herself from Short Change, her one-time pimp and supplier. But when Short Change is gunned down and the prints of Travis Morgan, a prominent Harlem businessman, turn up on the knife that killed Starr, respectable and not-so-respectable worlds start colliding--and the clash will have Mali fighting for her life.

Edwards's novels tend to be more successful as social history than as mystery. A jumble of characters and incidents muddies the plot, but the author's carefully rendered portrait of Harlem's streets and language carries an unmistakable glow of authenticity. --Kelly Flynn

From the Back Cover:

"[A] sharp-edged, appealing heroine."
Publishers Weekly

"What Grace Edwards does so well ... is to root us firmly and quickly in her Harlem setting."
Chicago Tribune

"A thought-provoking mystery ... in which the obvious suspect could not have done the crime."
The Midwest Book Review

"Edwards is a real magician, conjuring up a working-class Harlem neighborhood and its rich blend of citizens with warmth and humor."
Booknews from The Poisoned Pen
Don't miss Grace Edwards's other Mali Anderson mysteries:

No Time to Die
A Toast Before Dying
If I Should Die

Available wherever Bantam Books are sold

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9780385492485: Do or Die: A Mali Anderson Mystery

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Publisher: Doubleday, 2000
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Book Description Crimeline, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A songbird is silenced . by murder. With her soulful voice and delicate beauty, Starr Hendrix seemed destined to live up to her name and hit it big as a jazz singer. But her career ended before it began, and Mali s father offered Starr a second chance by giving her top billing as singer for his popular jazz band s latest show. Mali isn t surprised when Starr doesn t show -- but everyone is shocked when the troubled woman is found savagely murdered. The prime suspect is a low-life pimp with a grudge against Starr. But then the pimp stops a bullet -- and everyone suspects Starr s devastated father of exacting his own revenge. Mali vows to use her experience as a former cop to find the real killer. Her search will take her in and out of the three B s of Harlem: the beauty shops, barbershops, and the bars. But it will also lead Mali directly into the path of a killer -- one who, if not stopped, will almost surely strike again. Seller Inventory # BZV9780553580587

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