Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Mary Wings

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-425-15629-X
Publisher: Berkley

 Two new jobs are competing for Emma Victor's attention. Her boss, criminal attorney Willie Rossini, wants her to drop off the first blackmail payment of $35,000 for a videotape that shows independent mayoral candidate Margo Villanueva gloriously in flagrante. And Kimilar Jones, in town for the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival premiere of her ex-con brother's documentary Pale Refugee, wants Emma to hunt down her shiftless ex (ex-boyfriend? ex-husband? she's not exactly clear) and get him to sign a quitclaim to the goat farm she's convinced is about to become exceedingly valuable. By the next time Emma sees Kim, quite a bit has changed: Kim's celebrating her newfound love of women and telling Emma she doesn't need to worry about why the ex was being impersonated by somebody; in fact, she doesn't need to find him after all. By that time, though, the other case has taken a much nastier turn: The blackmailer is dead, the video is gone, and an accomplice, evidently convinced that Emma fired the fatal shot, has nipped her latest romance in the bud by putting her roommate on ice. The two jobs come together with a satisfying (though predictable) snap. What's really noteworthy about Emma's fourth case (She Came by the Book, 1996, etc.), though, is her tough professionalism on the job, and Wings's success in tying high- level social debates about gay rights into the mystery, right down to the blissful final surprise.