Bayou City Secrets: A Hollis Carpenter Mystery

Deborah Powell, Author Naiad Press $8.94 (208p) ISBN 978-0-941483-91-9
Powell makes a promising debut with a fast-moving, entertaining mystery set in the 1930s and served up in the hardboiled style. When Hollis Carpenter, veteran crime reporter for the Houston Times , is pulled from her beat to cover a no-news society item, she resigns in disgust. Andrew Delacroix, the paper's owner, intervenes, inviting Hollis to dinner and asking her to reconsider the new assignment while showing a genuine interest in her current story concerning guns that have vanished from the police station's evidence room. Hollis returns from her evening with Delacroix and his beautiful wife, Lily, only to find that her apartment has been burgled. She decides to seek help from Joe Mahan, a friend and cop, but at his house she finds his corpse; Joe has been murdered. Then Hollis herself receives a death threat and is nearly gunned down in public with Lily, whom she meets for an evening out. Clearly, whatever the now unemployed reporter stirred up is dangerous and edging ever closer. Although Hollis is more a smart aleck than a wit and Lily remains undeveloped, Powell effectively makes their lesbian relationship integral to the mystery. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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