Monday, February 9, 2009

One Last Kiss-Mary Wilbon

One Last Kiss
Mary Wilbon
Kensington, Mar 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 0758215991

Former Newark police officer turned private investigator Cassandra Slick lives her childhood employment choice of detective though she feels she is not quite at the kick butt level of her heroine Foxy Brown. Her wealthy white significant other and business partner Laura Charles believes Slick is better than some Pam Grier movie character as what she does is real.

Her former NPD precinct Captain and mentor Frank DeStasio asks Slick for a favor. Cop Tom Brandeal is the prime suspect for the murder of black prostitute Paradise nee Gloria Roxley in Echo Lake. Brandeal is his own worst enemy with his homophobic rants, but Slick ignores her personal disgust for him because she wants to know who killed her friend Paradise. She learns of Paradise’s diary that include high class clients especially members of a private men's club with affluence and power they use without regard to others.

The latest Slick-Charles private investigative tale (see NAUGHTY LITTLE SECRETS) is a fantastic Newark whodunit due to the plausible engaging spins; each time the audience settles back smirking with the solution, Mary Wilbon provides a twist. The lead characters are a wonderful couple and the street people are a delight who refresh the mystery with their antics; fans will especially adore the amateur sleuth transvestites Dijonnaise and Buffet. ONE LAST KISS is a deep look at the mean streets of Newark through the eyes of those who are the last bastions of true Adam Smith capitalism selling their wares right on the street.

Harriet Klausner