Mystery Noval, 3rd in the posted series. See also; \"Blanche on the Lam\" and \"Blanche Among the Talented Tenth.\"
Blanche White is in Boston--filling in as cook-housekeeper for an arrogant politician and his family. The first day on the job with the family-she has dubbed it \"Prozac House.\" Blanche overhears her employer pin an unsolved murder on a young black friend. Soon she is hot on the trail to clear the boy\'s name and finds herself tangled up in a scandal of secrets and extortion.
Blanche White--she does not brook snide comments about her name--is definitely the working woman's heroine, and the only thing that is domesticated about her is the work she does. Queen-sized, sensible about her own dignity and that of others, Blanche can read the Boston homes she cleans like the open books they are. But when she pinch-hits for the cook of a local politico's family, she sees Mr. Brindle's wife's brittle sorrow and a son's estrangement. When the cook's son is killed, and other deaths follow in Blanche's Roxbury neighborhood, the strands connecting them lead back to the Brindles' house. Blanche does her work and methodically goes about resolving what turns out to be several murders tied to scandal, sex, and heartbreak. She does it all while raising her teenage niece and nephew as her own, trying to keep their hopes and their future safe. Blanche's voice is sassy and sexy, and her take on urban life through African American eyes is blade-sharp and sometimes as cutting.
This third in the series rounds out Blanche's no nonsense, wise observations about American society and race as she works as a domestic and solves yet another mystery. She has become one of my favorite detective characters.
Penelope C. reviewed Blanche Cleans Up (Blanche White, Bk 3) on
Barbara Neely's books are clever and fun to read. Her heroine, Blanche is a strong woman with a decided point of view, secure in herself and dedicated to her principles. The series is unique. I wish there were more.