Blanche on the Lam: A Blanche White Mystery
by Barbara Neely
Though Ms. Neely has written several mystery stories that feature Blanche White, this is the first time I have come across any of her stories, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The story begins with Ms. White, a domestic whose employer stiffed her. This left her with a handful of bounced checks. Sentenced to do time in jail, she managed to slip away to North Carolina to work for a white family so she can take make money to care of her two children. She discovered that there was a lot more going on there than just living.
Blanche has a “sixth sense” and when it tingles, she knows something is coming down. However, due to her position and her color, she has to be circumspect in her behavior. Blanche, of course, winds up discovering the perpetrator of several murders.
One of the joys of this book is the beautiful descriptive language like this passage: “Back in the kitchen, the first bit of cool evening breeze made the curtains dance. The birds lowered their voices in preparation to given the airwaves over to creatures who made music with their hind legs.”
I have long been a fan of mysteries, and this is one of the best I’ve ever read. There is some genuine sleuthing going on along with some wonderful characters in the story and wild goose chases. Ms. Neely adds in some food for thought about human relationships and the story catches funny bone with passages of delightful humor.
I give this book five stars out of five.