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Posted August 5, 2011
In this second installment of the 'Nam Noir Series, Elvin Suggs and Dimond "Di" Redding, along with their friend, fellow Vietnam vet Cobra Glynes, have begun a new chapter in their lives: moving to a new home and starting the Grapevine Detective Agency. Their first case is to trail Nick Davies, husband of Emily, who suspects Nick is having an affair. This is confirmed when they follow Nick to the Coral Court Motel, a cheap place popular for secret love trysts. There's something about Emily Di doesn't trust, and this is borne out when Emily is spotted at the same motel her husband utilizes. The investigators come up against a block wall when they try to question the secretive desk clerk, who refuses to divulge any information about the motel's regulars. After Nick's girlfriend is found dead, the police zone in on Nick. When the bodies of two other women are discovered, Detective Reggie Combs has his hands full trying to figure out if the murders are connected, who is behind them, and the possible motive. The investigators team up with the detective, ultimately placing their own lives in danger.
This mystery, which takes place in the gritty back streets of south St. Louis, Missouri, is replete with suspicious characters. The plot is a good one, offering a mystery readers will be challenged to solve. Applewhite conveys the seediness of characters and locales in a vivid, colorful manner. Her characters are fleshed out and real, enhanced with dialogue that rings true.