In Blanche Passes Go, Barbara Neely once again displays the talent Essence calls "a force to be reckoned with." Blanche White, her maid-cum-snoop extraordinaire, has had enough of Boston and housecleaning for an uppity Brahmin clientele. Time to check things out back home in Farleigh, North Carolina. But Farleigh holds old demons for Blanche, including the man who once raped her, now implicated in the murder of a young girl. A second corpse, a zigzag trail of clues, a brace of good old boys, and Blanche's mother, Miz Cora--who taught her everything she knows about attitude--soon have Blanche busy unraveling all the mysteries of love, hate, and homicide.
"You have never met a mystery protagonist like Blanche White. Middle-aged, queen-sized, and feisty, she redefines the black sleuth . . . Strong, principled, and resolute. . . ."-- Cleveland Plain Dealer
"One is tempted to describe Blanche White as a combination of Miss Marple and Easy Rawlins . . . but it would be a crime to suggest that she is anything less than a truly original creation."-- Los Angeles Times
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Blanche White, Barbara Neely's smart, queen-sized, middle-aged African American sleuth, is a no-nonsense dame who's carrying some old baggage when she takes the summer off from cleaning houses for rich Boston matrons and returns to her North Carolina hometown. Almost a decade ago, Blanche was raped by David Palmer, scion of the town's leading family. Although she never brought charges against him, Blanche hasn't forgiven or forgotten. Now Palmer's sister is engaged to a sweet, mildly retarded young man for whom Blanche has a deep affection. When asked by his guardian to investigate the girl by using her connections with the domestics who know everything about the private lives of the town's most prominent families, Blanche sees an opportunity to bring the man who raped her to justice. The fact that he's been implicated in the murder of another woman makes revenge an even sweeter prospect.
What's most interesting about this lively series is the point of view of its heroine, a woman with a strong and clearly depicted perspective on the uneasy truce between blacks and whites in American society. Neely has created a true original in Blanche. With every new outing in this snappy series(Blanche Cleans Up, Blanche Among the Talented Tenth, Blanche on the Lam), she peels back more layers to reveal her heroine's emotional depths, her hard-earned wisdom, and her difficult but ultimately rewarding connection with the people she loves. Add love, hate, race, and homicide to Neely's expert characterizations, and you get a great read from a terrific, award-winning writer. --Jane AdamsAbout the Author:
BarbaraNeely is also the author of Blanche Cleans Up, Blanche on the Lam, and Blanche Among the Talented Tenth, for which she won awards that include the Agatha, the Anthony, and the Macavity.
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