Drink the Tea

( 4 )

Overview

Willis Gidney is a born liar and rip-off artist, an expert at the scam. Growing up without parents or a home, by age twelve he is a successful young man, running his own small empire, until he meets Shadrack Davies. That’s Captain Shadrack Davies, of the D.C. Police. Davies wants to reform Gidney and becomes his foster father. Though he tries not to, Gidney learns a small amount of ethics from Shad—-just enough to bother a kid from the streets for the rest of his life.

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Drink the Tea: A Mystery

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Overview

Willis Gidney is a born liar and rip-off artist, an expert at the scam. Growing up without parents or a home, by age twelve he is a successful young man, running his own small empire, until he meets Shadrack Davies. That’s Captain Shadrack Davies, of the D.C. Police. Davies wants to reform Gidney and becomes his foster father. Though he tries not to, Gidney learns a small amount of ethics from Shad—-just enough to bother a kid from the streets for the rest of his life.

Now Gidney is a PI, walking those same streets. So it's no surprise that when his closest friend, jazz saxophonist Steps Jackson, asks Gidney to find his missing daughter, Gidney is compelled to say yes—-even though she's been missing for twenty-five years. He finds a woman who may be the girl’s mother—and within hours she turns up dead. The police accuse Gidney of the murder and throw him in jail.

Maybe Gidney should quit while he’s behind. But when his investigation puts him up against a ruthless multinational corporation, a two-faced congressman, and a young woman desperate to conceal her past, Gidney has no time left for second thoughts. In fact, he may have no time left at all.

Thomas Kaufman is a winner of the PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Competition. His debut novel, Drink the Tea, which boasts an original PI and an engaging cast of characters, adds a fresh perspective to the genre.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kaufman's debut ...benefits from brisk development and a flattering, textured portrait of the nation's capital. Wisecracking narrator Gidney is also an appealing spinner of yarns."—Kirkus Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

           

Publishers Weekly
Kaufman, the winner of the PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Competition, introduces an unusual PI, a former foster child, in his impressive debut. Too often in mystery fiction a character’s difficult upbringing is tacked on, but Willis Gidney bears emotional scars from being abandoned that are both convincing and relevant to the story line. Jazz great Steps Jackson, a friend of the D.C. gumshoe, hires Gidney to locate his long-lost daughter. Gidney, who normally serves subpoenas, attracts the interest of a creepy private security firm and an ambitious right-wing politician. After a lead takes him to Colette Andrews, the wife of the former Virginia state attorney general, Colette turns up shot to death, and the police suspect Gidney of having pulled the trigger. While one coincidental development will raise eyebrows, Kaufman, a director and cameraman who twice won the Gordon Parks Award for cinematography, pulls off a taut, compelling tale of violence and corruption. (Mar.)
Library Journal
When a friend discovers he has a previously unknown daughter, he asks Willis Gidney, a PI in Washington, DC, to find her. But someone is making sure that the people talking to Willis never talk again. VERDICT This winner of the PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Competition exposes the ugly side of our nation's capital. Kaufman, an award-winning director and cinematographer, ties together DC's jazz scene, cut-throat big business, and the destructiveness of reckless ambition. This series debut is worth a look. [Library marketing.]
Kirkus Reviews
A D.C. private detective gets into all kinds of trouble trying to find a friend's long-lost daughter. Decades after his affair with Colette Andrews, a gorgeous young fan with whom he long ago lost touch, jazz musician Steps Jackson asks his pal Willis Gidney to find the daughter he never knew. Gidney, a part-time detective who works at a record warehouse, lucks into the name of the young woman-Bobbie-during his first random interview, but gaining traction in the search is another matter. His twisted trail includes, among other fictional D.C. locations, the Money Jungle toy store, the offices of Vital Records and the headquarters of right-wing politician Jason McHugh. When he finally meets Colette and brings up the subject of Bobbie, she threatens to call the police if he doesn't leave. Shortly after, at a small jazz club called The Cove, he gets an unexpected phone call from Colette, who says she needs to see him. The call is interrupted by a pack of unseen thugs who attack Gidney from behind. He blacks out and wakes up a suspect in Colette's murder, a fact that strains Gidney's usually smooth relationship with Washington's finest. Conducting a concurrent investigation threatens it even more. Winner of the Private Eye Writers of America Best First Private Eye Novel Competition, Kaufman's debut feels a little slapdash but benefits from brisk development and a flattering, textured portrait of the nation's capital. Wisecracking narrator Gidney is also an appealing spinner of yarns.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312607302
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Series: Willis Gidney Mysteries Series
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Kaufman is an award-winning motion picture director and cameraman. He has twice won the Gordon Parks Award for Cinematography, and an Emmy for his documentary about deaf children, See What I'm Saying. Drink the Tea, a winner of the PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Competion, is his first novel. He lives with his wife and two children in Maryland.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    A great read. The writing is descriptive, creative and flows we

    A great read. The writing is descriptive, creative and flows well with great touches of irony and humor. The author's use of local landmarks adds to the genuine feel of the characters who are well developed. If you are attracted to this type of book it's defininately one you'll like. Looking forward to reading the next book by Thomas Kaufman

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  • Posted April 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very nicely written--a fun read!

    "Down these mean streets a man must go," and I guess there are no meaner streets than Washington DC and the halls of Congress, where this book takes us.

    I really enjoyed this action-packed story. It's a riff on the classic detective novel, and I mean riff, since it's got a jazz underscore. It's also highly satiric, takes a swipe at a few things which need taking a swipe at, but without being heavy-handed. I love the mix of sharp dialogue and plot. It's cute but not too cute. The juxtaposition of the main character's back story with his current circumstances is accomplished elegantly, a tough thing to do well. The result is a PI who isn't just a vehicle for the story, but a fully realized human being we'd like to see succeed. I'm hoping there are going to be more of these. Keep writing, Thomas Kaufman.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    fine DC private investigative mystery

    Years ago, jazz musician Steps Jackson and groupie Colette Andrews had a heated affair. Recently Steps learns he sired a daughter with Colette; an offspring he never knew existed. He pleads with his friend private investigator Willis Gidney to find his child.

    Gidney agrees to work the case, but cautions Steps that he only works as a sleuth for hire part-time; his day job remains at a record warehouse. He quickly finds a name, but not much else. Still, after seemingly going all over DC, Gidney catches up to Colette. When he asks her about Bobbie and Steps, Colette angrily tells him to leave or the cops will escort him away. At the Cove jazz joint, Gidney receives a shocking call from Colette, who asks to meet with him. However, thugs assault him. When he awakens from unconsciousness, he learns the cops suspect he killed Colette.

    Putting aside a major key coincidence, fans will fully enjoy the first Gidney tale. The story line is fast-paced as he works his case through a DC that is murkier than the Potomac. Readers will especially appreciate his childhood that surfaces at odd times, but does so as an essential part of the personality of the hero. Drink the Tea is a fine DC private investigative mystery.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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