Louisiana Hotshot by Julie Smith
A Talba Wallis Novel

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Synopsis

Louisiana Hotshot is the FIRST book in the Talba Wallis series by Edgar-Award winning author Julie Smith

"Can’t wait for the next Evanovich? Check out Louisiana Hotshot. It’s Stephanie Plum with Tabasco, dawlin’.” -The Clarion Ledger

“A stroke of genius … Louisiana Hotshot is fresh, fast, and touching. Just like New Orleans, it has a lot of ‘tude and a big heart.” -The Times-Picayune

WANTED: HOTSHOT P.I. WITH NEAR SUPER-HUMAN SKILLS.

Confirmed grump Eddie Valentino placed the ad. Hotshot twenty-something Talba Wallis knew exactly how to answer it.

And thus was born the dynamic duo of New Orleans private detectives, one cynical, sixty-five-year-old Luddite white dude with street smarts, and one young, bright-eyed, Twenty-First 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 fourteen-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.

“Don’t miss this one!” -Library Journal

“If you haven’t read Smith before, it’s time to start. If you’re a fan, you’re in for yet another treat.” -Marcia Muller

“Julie Smith writes like jazz should sound—cool, complex, and penetrating right to the heart.” -Val McDermid

“New Orleans and its diverse inhabitants shine in Louisiana Hotshot. Talba, sassy and vulnerable, is a fascinating character made all the more so by her interactions with the gruffly likeable Eddie.” -Romantic Times

Excerpt:
They were not eyes that cried, they were themselves the tears; they were the fatal tip-off that that mutilated and now aggressively armored soul needed to be kissed and made well. That the imaginary tears must be wiped away: crying, desperate eyes replaced by the carefree, corner-crinkled eyes of a man who has just been made to laugh by his beloved; or the devoted, follow-you-to-the-grave eyes of a man who has just made love to her. Or to anyone. Or to a plank with a mink-lined hole in it.

Oh, yes. Talba was not only under thirty, but well under twenty-five, and already she knew everything about eyes like that—everything except what they meant when they were underscored by velvet-soft pouches so big they needed a bra; so bloodstained, so seemingly bruised you wanted to order emergency ice.

When Eddie Valentino spoke again, interrupting her silent ocular love song, she nearly did a double take. “I’ll think about it, Ms. Wallis.”

“You’ll think about it? Here I stay up half the night to show you what I can do, and then I get here before sunrise, and you’ll think about it?”

And for the first time in the interview, sad, soulful Eddie Valentino really did smile—a broad, amused, gotcha smile. “I thought it only took you ten minutes. Hour and a half at the most.”

“I’m making a point, Mr. Valentino. I tend to exaggerate when I’m making a point. And the point is, I’m your hotshot. Who else was here before your door opened with a complete dossier on you? I mean, what’s the definition of a hotshot?”

He smiled again, “You’re a ball of fire, all right. I just gotta sleep on it, that’s all.”

“Oh. Well.” Twice Talba had made him smile. Maybe that’s what her mission was; maybe that was all she was meant to do. Of course he had to sleep on it. What was she thinking?

I’m believing my own P.R., she thought, and felt embarrassed. What did I think he was going to do? Welcome me like a long-lost
 

About Julie Smith

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Julie Smith currently lives and writes in the Faubourg Marigny district of New Orleans, a neighborhood of nightclubs, restaurants and coffee shops where shady characters mix with artists. The author of nineteen novels, she was born and raised in Savannah before escaping to the University of Mississippi. After graduation, Smith became a reporter, first for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and later the San Francisco Chronicle. She lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years before returning to New Orleans. Smith abandoned reporting for writing mysteries in the early 1980s, writing a series featuring attorney Rebecca Schwartz and a second series starring Paul McDonald, a reporter turned mystery writer whose fate you wouldn't wish on a dog. A few years later, she launched a third series featuring New Orleans police detective Skip Langdon with New Orleans Mourning, which won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel in 1991. She currently alternates between writing about Skip Langdon and Talba Wallis, an African-American poet/private eye who debuted in "Louisiana Hotshot."
 
Published April 1, 2014 by booksBnimble Mysteries Thrillers and Suspense. 353 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Louisiana Hotshot

Kirkus Reviews

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Feisty computer whiz/rap poet Talba Wallis, stage name Baroness Pontalba, makes a parallel move from assisting seedy shamus Gene Allred (82 Desire, 1998) to working slave wages for low-tech New Orleans p.i.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Louisiana Hotshot: A Talba Wa...

Publishers Weekly

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Following the success of 82 Desire (1998), which introduced Talba Wallis (aka Baroness de Pontalba), the black poet/computer expert and would-be investigator ret

Apr 09 2001 | Read Full Review of Louisiana Hotshot: A Talba Wa...

Publishers Weekly

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Following the success of 82 Desire (1998), which introduced Talba Wallis (aka Baroness de Pontalba), the black poet/computer expert and would-be investigator ret

Apr 09 2001 | Read Full Review of Louisiana Hotshot: A Talba Wa...

RT Book Reviews

Search books by title, genre, publication month, publication year, and rating or search by any combination of these options (i.e.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Talba Wallis, is New Orleans poet known as the Baroness de Pontalba, Xavier graduate, computer whiz, and private investigator, who first appeared as a character in 82 DESIRE.

| Read Full Review of Louisiana Hotshot: A Talba Wa...

Reviewing the Evidence

Turns out, a small private investigative agency operated by Eddie Valentino placed the ad and Talba soon has a day job, her investigator's license, and is neck deep in an investigation of a nasty child abuse case.

| Read Full Review of Louisiana Hotshot: A Talba Wa...

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Leiah Cooper 22 Jul 2013

Ah, New Orleans. The drug that is the heat and scents, the music and moans, life and death and destiny. The heart of a world both magical and profane. Where "church ladies" still wear hats and move...

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