In the Game

Nikki Baker, Author Naiad Press $9.95 (171p) ISBN 978-1-56280-004-8
When businesswoman Virginia Kelly, a black lesbian, meets her old college chum Bev Johnson for drinks late one night, Bev confides that her lover, Kelsey, is seeing another woman. Ginny had picked up that gossip months ago, but she is shocked when the next morning's papers report that Kelsey was found murdered behind the very bar where Ginny and Bev had met. Worried that her friend could be implicated, Ginny decides to track down Kelsey's killer and also contacts a lawyer, Susan Coogan. Susan takes an immediate, intense liking to Ginny, complicating Ginny's relationship with her live-in lover. Meanwhile Ginny's inquiries heat up when she learns the Feds suspected Kelsey of embezzling from her employer. Woven into the narrative are observations on lesbian life and on prejudice, which are undercut when the author resorts to stereotyping: Ginny's boss, for example, is a drunken Irishman. Still, an entertaining assortment of female characters makes Baker's debut promising, even though the plot's logic does not stand up to close scrutiny: the police do not suspect Bev of the murder, making Ginny's sleuthing to save her friend appear superfluous. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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