Flashpoint (Carlotta Carlyle Series #8)

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When six-foot redhead ex-cop and Boston-based private investigator Carlotta Carlyle agrees to help an elderly recluse burglar-proof her apartment, the last thing she expected was that the woman would turn up dead. Now Carlotta must find out why the eccentric yet seemingly harmless Valentine Phipps isolated herself—and needed protection.

Who would want to hurt Valentine? What was she hiding behind closed doors? Is there a connection between her murder and an age-old mystery that ...

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When six-foot redhead ex-cop and Boston-based private investigator Carlotta Carlyle agrees to help an elderly recluse burglar-proof her apartment, the last thing she expected was that the woman would turn up dead. Now Carlotta must find out why the eccentric yet seemingly harmless Valentine Phipps isolated herself—and needed protection.

Who would want to hurt Valentine? What was she hiding behind closed doors? Is there a connection between her murder and an age-old mystery that the city’s top brass—and its real-estate moguls—want to keep buried? But the most troubling question of all involves the victim’s home health aide, Gwen: Why did she introduce Valentine to Carlotta in the first place? The race to catch one of Boston’s most ruthless and ambiguous criminals has just begun….

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Boston PI Carlotta Carlyle thinks she's doing a friend a simple favor when she agrees to burglarproof an elderly recluse's apartment. But 24 hours later, when the woman turns up dead, with her apartment ransacked, Carlotta is left with a lot of questions. What was the old woman so desperate to protect? And just how much was the apartment worth to the greedy real estate developers who were breathing down her neck? Carlotta better find the answers fast-before an innocent woman is convicted of arson and a firestarter strikes again.
From the Publisher

“Carlotta Carlyle has both timeless and contemporary appeal…a winner.”—Boston Herald

“One of the best private-eye series ever.”—Harlan Coben

“A sizzler of a crime story.”—Booklist

FLASHPOINT further cement[s] Carlotta’s place in the pantheon of contemporary P.I.s.”—Chicago Tribune

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With eight appearances in the last 12 years, Barnes's PI Carlotta Carlyle has the full-bodied presence of an old friend. Like most fictional detectives, she's fearless and smart-mouthed. Unlike most, she has a social circle, an exercise regimen and an underachieving id ("I never do seem to come close to figuring out this man/woman thing"). She also has an unusually strong affection for her turf, which is Boston, a city portrayed by Barnes as imperiled by rapacious real estate developers. So when home health aide Gwen Taymore asks Carlotta to provide security advice to Valentine Phipps, an old lady struggling to keep her rent-controlled apartment, Carlotta agrees, as much out of civic duty as out of a desire for a paycheck. But Mrs. Phipps's sudden death, which may have been murder, casts suspicion on elusive Gwen, as well as on the building's possibly mob-connected landlord. And when music industry mogul Bronson Hohen hires Carlotta to investigate Mrs. Phipps's family tree, she starts to wonder why her old cronies in Boston Homicide are so intent on barring her from the crime scene. Meanwhile, Carlotta has to cope with assorted domestic crises, such as her adolescent "Little Sister" Paolina's homelessness, and her tenant Roz's onslaught of bad boyfriends. The many messy details of Carlotta's life give her character resonance, but they also bog down the rather pedestrian plot, which ends improbably with a twist of multinational intrigue. Still, Carlotta's fans will relish dunking doughnuts again with the genial investigator, a woman who knows a thing or two about urban survival ("Car keys make great brass knuckles"). Author tour. (Sept.) FYI: This is Barnes's first novel with Hyperion, which in September also will reissue Barnes's first Carlotta Carlyle mystery, Trouble of Fools, in mass market. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Barnes continues her string of intelligent mysteries in this eighth outing with former policewoman turned P.I. Carlotta Carlyle. The murder of an older woman with a hidden past challenges Carlotta like none other--this case brings potential harm to herself and her loved ones. The victim left behind a rare old Jewish manuscript that Carlotta has to find before it ends up in the hands of someone who wants it solely for profit. Carlotta remains a tough, brassy businesswoman with a soft side, especially for her surrogate teenage sister, her rebellious roommate, and her former love, Mooney. At times, these characters threaten to overshadow the main story, but even when Barnes veers from one issue to another, the plot holds up. Unlike most mysteries, once the antagonist is uncovered, Barnes proceeds to write a smart finish. Recommended for all mystery collections.--Cecilia R. Cygnar, Niles P.L. Dist., IL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Mag
As always, Barnes writes with verve and style...
Kirkus Reviews
Carlotta Carlyle's clients might as well be on the Endangered Species list: there aren't many of them, and they don't hang around long. The latest is elderly Valentine Phipps, a feisty, dotty Fenway tenant organizer whom Carlotta's volleyball teammate Gwen Taymore drags her off to because Val is worried about break-ins. This new client, a solitary holdout against her landlord's plan to use her building's site for the Millennium Towers complex, is comically demanding, insisting that Carlotta run right out and purchase the new locks she needs and grabbing a photo of Carlotta's "little sister" Paolina as collateral for the lock money she's given her. But she turns into much bigger trouble the next morning, when Carlotta returns to find her dead, victim of an apparent heart attack, having just taken her phone off the hook when she was stricken. The cops, smelling a rat when volleyball teammate Gwen's background doesn't square with her foreground, clap her into jail and assign her a public defender whose idea of defense is a quick plea bargain; megabucks music exec Bronson Hohen, who's appeared out of nowhere to claim that he was Val's stepgrandson and to hire Carlotta to root around in the old lady's papers, won't return her calls; then a firebug strikes at Carlotta's house, and suddenly her addled, dead client becomes the most important person in her world—and maybe in Boston. As usual, Barnes's eighth (Cold Case, 1997, etc.) dashes off memorable characters in a few deft strokes, even if some of the most interesting ones have to make way for more standard-issue secrets. ($125,000 ad/promo; author tour)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312380496
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Series: Carlotta Carlyle Series , #8
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 758,627
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Barnes

LINDA BARNES is the author of twelve Carlotta Carlyle mysteries, winner of the Anthony and American Mystery Awards, and an Edgar Award finalist. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and son.

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Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 11, 2014

    Linda Barnes does it Again..

    I can't say enough about how much I enjoy reading these books. The story within the story is always mind provoking. The story flows smoothly.. I never feel lost or confused. Linda Barnes knows how to write. Carlotta is terrific!!

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