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Louisiana hotshot
Julie Smith
Adult Fiction SMITH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Following the success of 82 Desire (1998), which introduced Talba Wallis (aka Baroness de Pontalba), the black poet/computer expert and would-be investigator returns to undertake another harrowing adventure in New Orleans. Talba is a seething mass of contradictions assured and vulnerable, flip and sentimental, cocky and fearful. Answering an unlikely ad with her customary bravado lands her a job as assistant to aging PI Eddie Valentino. The young black female and 65-year-old Italian male have striking similarities that offset their obvious differences. Both are stubborn and strongly attached to, if somewhat alienated from, their families. Throw in a vulnerable young girl, Cassandra, being preyed on by a rap star's hanger-on identified only by the nickname "Toes," and you have a story that spans generations, races and lifestyles. As Talba and Eddie struggle to establish a working relationship and, similarly, struggle to resolve troublesome family relationships, the plight of their newest client worsens. Identifying Toes and stopping him before he eliminates Cassandra (or nosy detectives like themselves) becomes first priority. Smith generates plenty of tension as the savvy veteran and the eager novice combine their talents. But it is Smith's evocation of her beloved New Orleans and her deft exploration of her characters' intimate relationships that will lure readers to this series. (May 30) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Smith (82 Desire) introduces a new detective who searches for a man who seduces young black girls and makes them disappear. Known as Talba Wallis ("African American nerd") by day, the black PI poses as the Baroness Pontalba in the caf society nightlife of New Orleans. Don't miss this one! (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Talba Wallis, aka Baroness Pontalba
African American
Rap poet.

Eddie Valentino
Private investigator

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