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P.I. on a Hot Tin Roof by Julie Smith
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P.I. on a Hot Tin Roof (2005)

by Julie Smith

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Julie Smith is becoming one of my all-time favorite mystery writers. Set in New Orleans and centered on the activity of Private Investigator Talba Wallis, AKA The Duchess de Pontalba (nom de plume she took from the historical New Orleans Baroness), this book follows the downfall of a corrupt judge out to destroy an up and coming lawyer who won't bow to his pressure. Wallis cleans up the situation, literally as she poses as a housekeeper to infiltrate the judge's home, then must clean up the aftermath as well, as the judge has a teen-aged daughter who reacts poorly to her father's disgrace. All said, a very well written story, with plenty of plot twists and good characterization to leave the reader wanting to know more about the characters. Fortunately, this is book four in a series that, with luck, will continue filling us in on the life and times of Talba Wallis. ( )
  mtbearded1 | Sep 11, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765351145, Mass Market Paperback)

When PI Talba Wallis gets a frantic phone call from Orleans Parish Prison, the last person she expects to hear from is her boss's lawyer daughter, Angie. Popped for drug possession, Angie insists the drugs were planted. She's a target for representing a neighborhood group protesting the illegal commercial use of a marina by its owner, Judge Buddy Champagne. According to Angie, the judge is dirty---and he's the one who had her set up.

Talba and her boss, Eddie, are outraged---knowing Angie as they do, they pull out all the stops for her. And when Talba goes undercover as a housekeeper for Judge Champagne, she finds a household straight out of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with the judge playing Big Daddy. The weak son and the hot daughter-in-law are in residence, being "between jobs." Big Mama's absent, though---she died some time ago, and the judge is now adding his fiancée to the mix. That would be Miss Kristin LaGarde, an impossibly lovely, and possibly innocent, young lady who seems hopelessly in love with the old coot.

Talba dredges up lots of interesting material; such as that someone was accidentally electrocuted at the marina and that the judge is in bed with certain bail bondsmen. She finds evidence of bribes and kickbacks. He's dirty all right.

When the story breaks and the scandal deepens, Judge Champagne winds up dead. And, to her surprise, Talba is asked to investigate. Did politics kill the judge? Or was it his own family?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Going undercover as a housekeeper in the home of a corrupt judge, who is suspected of setting up those who would expose his illegal activities, Talba Wallis locates evidence about a network of bribes and kickbacks.

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