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Blanche passes go
Barbara Neely
Adult Fiction NEELY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Blanche White, an African-American maid-cum-sleuth, returns for a fourth outing (following Blanche Cleans Up) that takes her back home to Farleigh, N.C., from Boston. It's a trip freighted with racial bitterness and gender rage as 50-year-old Blanche faces up to old truths about the new South and confronts the rapist, David Palmer, who drove her from Farleigh eight years before. Agatha Award-winner Neely is at her best when Blanche seeks to define or redefine relationships with the people she cares most about: her aged mother, Cora; her best friend, Ardell; and the wonderful railroad porter, Thelvin, whom she meets on the train to Farleigh. The author also movingly describes Blanche's efforts to overcome her fear and hatred of the man who raped her. After Blanche is hired to get the dirt on David's sister, Karen, she sees an opportunity to get the goods on David as well. When it appears that David may be involved in the recent murder of a young white girl, Blanche is determined that he won't go unpunished this time, and Blanche's quest, both for vengeance and to reclaim her life, drives a compelling plot. Neely is a fine phrase-maker, and her black characters are vibrantly alive. Unfortunately, with the exception of an adult male with Down's syndrome, the white characters here are all stereotypically venal, racist, stupid and mean. Such reverse discrimination mars an otherwise admirable tale. 6-city author tour. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

When Blanche White (Blanche on the Lam)"big, middle-aged, and black"returns to her North Carolina hometown to join her best friend!s catering business, an old pain confronts her. Facing the rich white man who raped her and got away with it incapacitates her until she decides upon a suitable revenge. Asked to investigate the man!s sister, she investigates him as well, hoping to connect him to other rapes"or perhaps to the recent murder of a young black woman. This lively, energetic, and sexy narrative showcases a unique, ancestor-worshiping protagonist, wonderful plotting, and a South haunted by racism. Strongly urged. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Blanche White
Age: Middle aged
African American
Returning to her hometown to help a friend start a catering business.

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