First in a new series by the creator of New York street musician Nanette Hayes (Coq au Vin, 1999, etc.).
Here, the author ventures into another time and another time zone: Chicago 1968, soon after the assassination of Martin Luther King, inside the happy Hyde Park home of Woodson and Ivy Lisle and their 20ish grandniece Cassandra. Having survived a bitter childhood before her great-uncle and -aunt adopted her, Cass is launched into still more stirring adventures by the disappearance of Lavelle Jackson, the granddaughter of Woody’s old friend Clay. Joining Wood and Ivy in the search for Lavelle, Cass soon loses her virginity to Melvin, a member of the black-activist group Root. She’s on the scene when Ivy is shot, barely escaping death. And, with some help from Woody and Jack Klaus, his police contact, she succeeds at last in uncovering a trail of greed and corruption that goes back nearly ten years to the killing of young schoolteacher Elizabeth Greevy and the conviction of Eddie Lee Quick, who looked a lot guiltier than he turns out to have been.
As in Nanette Hayes’s more lighthearted adventures, the language is as colorful as the parade of local characters. Carter crams in perhaps more subplots than her story can support, but not too many to dislodge gutsy Cass as the real star.