-- Publishers Weekly " T]he tale is strengthened by plenty of period detail and a fine feel for both the gay underworld of Harlem in the 1920s and the sociopsychological dynamics of her characters. Read more...
--Publishers Weekly " T]he tale is strengthened by plenty of period detail and a fine feel for both the gay underworld of Harlem in the 1920s and the sociopsychological dynamics of her characters. Best of all, protagonist] Lanie has the makings of a strong series heroine. Walter Mosely fans, in particular, should look for more from this promising crime writer."
--Booklist "Put a Bessie Smith platter on the Victrola, and go with the flow on this mystery/romance/history mix."
--Library Journal "Black Orchid Blues works as a study of class and race, plus the debilitating effects of grief, the question of identity and the far-reaching impact of family secrets . . . Walker has a crystal clear eye for what motivates people as she explores disparity and desperation."
--Florida Sun-Sentinel Lanie Price, a 1920s Harlem society columnist, witnesses the brutal nightclub kidnapping of the "Black Orchid," a sultry, seductive singer with a mysterious past. When hours pass without a word from the kidnapper, puzzlement grows as to his motive. After a gruesome package arrives at Price's doorstep, the questions change. Just what does the kidnapper want--and how many people is he willing to kill to get it? Evil hides behind the genteel facades of affluent Strivers' Row and stalks the ballroom of one of Harlem's most famous gay parties. In a complex plot that keeps the reader tied to the page, Black Orchid Blues explores the depths of human depravity and the desperation of its victims.
- ISBN-13: 9781936070909
- ISBN-10: 1936070901
- Publisher: Akashic Books
- Publish Date: March 2011
- Page Count: 270
- Dimensions: 8 x 6.2 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-02-21
- Reviewer: Staff
In Walker's exuberant third Harlem Renaissance mystery (after 2008's Darkness and the Devil Behind Me), new performing sensation Queenie Lovetree, a six-foot-three drag queen who bills himself as the "Black Orchid," approaches Lanie Price, the Harlem Chronicle's society columnist, at the Cinnamon Club. Queenie wants Lanie to profile him, but a man in a Stetson and trench coat, armed with a tommy gun, interrupts their conversation and forces Queenie to leave the club. Lanie's involvement in the search for Queenie brings her into conflict with her editor, Sam Delaney, and Det. John Blackie—and into contact with such diverse denizens of 1920s Harlem as notorious loan shark Stax Murphy and transvestite Jack-a-Lee Talbot. This dark, sexy novel takes readers from the homes of Striver's Row professionals to the Faggots' Ball, Harlem's "largest drag ball of the year," as Lanie struggles to make sense of the kidnapper's increasingly bizarre behavior. (Apr.)