Kensington, Jul 2001, 22.00, 360 pp.
In Syracuse, Noah's Ark sells exotic pets, but the owner Robin Light fails to make enough money to pay her taxes. If she does not come up with some cash soon, she will be forced to declare bankruptcy. Robin moonlights
as a private detective, but is so desperately strapped for income, she accepts two cases simultaneously.
The first case involves a fifteen-year-old runaway whose parents want her home. In her quest to find Bethany, Robin visits a cemetery, a tattoo parlor, and a Goth concert. Her other assignment involves wealthy Rose
Taylor, whose children want Robin to debunk psychic Pat Humphrey. In the course of this investigation someone punches Robin in the jaw, someone shoots at her, and a knife is placed against her throat. While engulfed in
both inquiries, Robin wonders if bankruptcy might prove the better alternative.
Barbara Block knows how to write an action-packed private detective novel that turns into a strong urban Noir centering on the Upstate New York city of Syracuse. The heroine is quite a sleuth and readers will want her
as a friend who hopefully will revisits the audience with her next adventures.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner