Monday, November 4, 2013

Discover the "Talba Wallis New Orleans Mystery" series!

Mystery lovers will enjoy this saucy southern mystery series from Julie Smith!

Publishers Weekly says "Smith generates plenty of tension as the savvy veteran and the eager novice combine their talents. But it is Smith's evocation of her beloved New Orleans and her deft exploration of her characters' intimate relationships that will lure readers to this series."

Get the first book in the series today for 99 cents!

Louisiana Hotshot: A Humorous New Orleans Murder Mystery; Talba Wallis #1 (The Talba Wallis PI Series), by Julie Smith
"Talba Wallis, the smart, sassy, African American computer whiz who's also a gifted poet and artist, made her debut in Smith's last Skip Langdon mystery, 82 Desire--along with her alter ego, the Baroness de Pontalba. Here she's back in a story of her own, holding court at a hip café by night (and keeping her audience entertained with the rap story of how her mother named her Urethra) while embarking by day on a new career as a detective under the cynical aegis of Eddie Valentino, an old PI who's never encountered anyone quite like her before. Set in New Orleans, territory Smith knows well, this is a lively mystery with a vivid, outrageous, and wholly likable new heroine whose appearance will be welcomed by fans of the writer's Skip Langdon series." -- Amazon reviewer
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 geniusLouisiana 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?

Talba Wallis, the smart, sassy, African American computer whiz who's also a gifted poet and artist, made her debut in Smith's last Skip Langdon mystery, 82 Desire--along with her alter ego, the Baroness de Pontalba. Here she's back in a story of her own, holding court at a hip café by night (and keeping her audience entertained with the rap story of how her mother named her Urethra) while embarking by day on a new career as a detective under the cynical aegis of Eddie Valentino, an old PI who's never encountered anyone quite like her before.

But Eddie's got problems of his own, so he turns Talba loose investigating the possible molestation of a young black teenager and the disappearance of a couple of her friends. There's something about the violent trail she's following on this, her first case, that's stirring up Talba's own memories of her long-gone father, about whom neither Miz Clara, Talba's tough and crusty mama, nor her yuppie brother the doctor will utter a word. Set in New Orleans, territory Smith knows well, this is a lively mystery with a vivid, outrageous, and wholly likable new heroine whose appearance will be welcomed by fans of the writer's Skip Langdon series. --Jane Adams

Get the first book in this series!

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More books in the Talba Wallis New Orleans Mystery series






Meet the Author

I first knew I wanted to be a writer at seven, knew it was mysteries I'd write at 12, was desperate to win the Edgar at 13, but became a journalist to...well...keep from starving till I had the courage to actually try it. I had a great time and learned more than ten colleges could have taught as a reporter for first the New Orleans Times-Picayune and later the San Francisco Chronicle. Finally, I wrote six or seven mysteries (I've lost count!) over a period of eight years, to absolutely no avail, and was about to give up when I made my first sale. DEATH TURNS A TRICK was my first published book, and the Rebecca Schwartz series was born. I later added a second San Francisco series, plus two in New Orleans, and guess what? My first New Orleans book, NEW ORLEANS MOURNING, won the Edgar for Best Novel.

So some dreams come true! Boy, it was hard, and it took forever, but mine actually did. I'm still pinching myself. After wanting something so much and finally getting it, who would have thought I'd turn to something else after twenty-one books? (That's right, twenty-one not counting a non-fiction one on writing itself. So, twenty-two, really.) My whole identity was writing. But along came ebooks! Suddenly a gigantic opportunity opened up. I realized I could be a publisher myself---I could help other people achieve their own dreams. I couldn't help it, I got the publishing bug. Bad.

In 2010, I founded www.booksBnimble.com, a digital publishing company that focused at first on video-enhanced ebooks, but now not so much enhanced as just great quality---and, as you might imagine, with an emphasis on mysteries. So far, we've published eight authors (including me). It's been a treat to learn to function in another whole world and it's been incredibly rewarding to be able to help other writers, to bring back people's backlists, and to discover new, exciting talent.

Check out some of our terrific authors--Patty Friedmann, Marika Christian, Tony Dunbar, Anneke Campbell, Whitney Stewart, and Lee Pryor. Coming soon: mystery authors Greg Herren, Liz Zelvin, Shelley Singer, and Mickey Friedman.



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