Louisiana Hotshot: Talba Wallis

Written by: Julie Smith
Narrated by: Nan McNamara
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:04-05-16
  • Publisher: booksBnimble
  • Series: Talba Wallis Book 1
  • 5 Stars
Publishers Summary
  • Confirmed grump Eddie Valentino placed the ad. Hotshot 20-something Talba Wallis knew exactly how to answer it.
  • And thus was born the dynamic duo of New Orleans private detectives, one cynical, 65-year-old Luddite white dude with street smarts, and one young, bright-eyed, 21st century African-American female poet, performance artist, mistress of disguise, and computer jock extraordinaire. Think Queen Latifah and Danny DeVito.
  • In Louisiana Hotshot, their job is to hunt down a sociopath and pedophile who's molested the 14-year-old daughter of their client, hangs out on the ragged edges of the rap and recording industries, and has more powerful allies than a Cabinet member.
  • But both detectives have unfinished business from the past - in Eddie's case, something he deeply regrets; in Talba's, a personal mystery, one so frightening no one will help her investigate. But she knows she won't sleep till she solves it - and the truth will change her forever.
  • ©2001 Julie Smith (P)2016 Julie Smith
  • Review
  • First up, just a little warning, this book is described as a Humorous Mystery but if you are expecting a cozy, just be aware that there is some strong language flying around!
  • It all begins with Talbas' mother, Miz Clara, thinking it about time her daughter got herself a job she scans the ads and discovers this gem:
  • "Nerd wanted. Nerdette wouldn’t be too bad. Young hotshot, under thirty, 5 yrs. computer, 10 yrs. investigative exp. Harvard ed., no visible piercings. Must play the computer like Horowitz played piano. Slave wages". 
  • The ad. was placed by private detective Eddie Valentino but what neither he nor Talba knew was that Angela, Eddies daughter, had written a spoof ad., never imagining that he would actually run it!
  • Not worrying about such trifles as arranging an interview, Talba goes online, gets the lowdown on Eddie (and his family) and off she goes to see him. Eddie, feeling a bit blindsided isn't sure that Talba is quite suitable, despite the fact that she tells him that she is as much of a hotshot as he is likely to get.
  • Angela can't believe that someone actually answered the advertisement, she does a background check and discovers that Talba is a poet, the Baroness de Pontalba no less!
  • That night Angela takes Eddie and her mother to watch Talba perform. Talba gets the job.
  • The Poem
  • Tabitha raps out a poem about how she got her name, not Tabitha, not the Baroness, but a name that a cruel minded doctor suggested to Miz Clara. I loved this poem, and this is where audiobooks come in to their own, actually hearing it being recited (or rapped?) really conveyed the story in all its poignancy. The cruelty and humiliation of the name becomes more evident as the story progresses
  • Eddie has problems of his own so Talba takes on more than she ought, her lack of experience lands her in a few difficulties. She then adds to her problems by going against the wishes of her family by insisting on uncovering a long held secret.
  • I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery and humour, but wants something a little deeper and more complex.

  • Narrator
  • Narrated by Nan McNamara who did such a wonderful job of giving each character a distinct voice and personality. I've never been a follower of rap poetry but I have to say, her rendition of Talbas' poem was, quite simply, outstanding and not likely to be soon forgotten.
  • Audiobook provided by the producer, author or narrator for an unbiased review

  • More Julie Smith books Here

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