Rhode Island Red

Charlotte Carter, Author Serpent's Tail $15.99 (0p) ISBN 978-1-85242-564-7
Style's the thing in this breezy, sexy mystery narrated by Nanette, a French-speaking, sax-playing street musician so charming and confident that she overshadows her own story. Having once more broken up with her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Walter, Nanette agrees to let another musician crash in her New York City apartment. When she wakes up during the night, she finds him lying on her floor with a knife sticking out of his throat and discovers that he was an undercover cop. Then she finds (and begins to spend) $60,000 in cash that had been stuffed into her saxophone. Soon, a mysterious stranger begins sending her yellow roses and begs her to teach him all she knows about Charlie Parker. It seems somewhat contrived that Nanette, as smart as she is (""I was one of those obnoxious child prodigies whose exploits are fillers for the Daily News""), fails to connect the dots between the men in her life, but her sardonic wit (""Two men do not a slut make. But, still and all, two ain't one"") will help incredulous readers suspend their disbelief. The details about music and musicians are well-placed, and Nanette's down-and-out colleagues are an intriguing, believable bunch. (June)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Paperback - 170 pages - 978-1-85242-591-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 224 pages - 978-0-446-60664-6
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