The Black Stiletto

( 6 )

Overview

Could MartiTalbot's elderly, Alzheimer-stricken mother, Judy, really have been the Black Stiletto? When Martin discovers several volumes of her diaries hidden by his mother, he is stunned beyond all imagination. His mother, the underground heroine of yesteryear? The famed ,still unidentified woman who battled Communist spies, took on the Mafia, and preyed on common crooks? The woman who exacted punishment on evildoers without mercy? But it is all described, in great detail, in the diaries. What caused her to ...

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The Black Stiletto: A Novel

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Overview

Could MartiTalbot's elderly, Alzheimer-stricken mother, Judy, really have been the Black Stiletto? When Martin discovers several volumes of her diaries hidden by his mother, he is stunned beyond all imagination. His mother, the underground heroine of yesteryear? The famed ,still unidentified woman who battled Communist spies, took on the Mafia, and preyed on common crooks? The woman who exacted punishment on evildoers without mercy? But it is all described, in great detail, in the diaries. What caused her to begin her quest for justice. Her decision to act outside the law. Her feats as the famed and feared vigilante. How her reputation exploded. In short, how it all played out. Could it be true? Talbot is filled with doubt and disbelief. But the reappearance of one of the Stiletto's old enemies with a thirst for merciless revenge makes the story more than real and could imperil the life of not only the Stiletto, but her son and granddaughter as well.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Irresistible: Suppose you found out--just too late--that your mother had been a superhero crime fighter. What would you do? Sit back, take a deep breath, and let Raymond Benson tell you." -- --LEE CHILD, New York Times best selling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers

"Judy is a complex character. She reminded me a bit of a female version of The Shadow. Most crime authors who write period pieces set in the 50s or 60s struggle at times for authenticity--The Black Stiletto does not have that problem." -- --HENRY PEREZ, author of Killing Red and Mourn the Living

"Judy is a fantastic character, and Benson absolutely nails the way women write in their diaries. I think this sort of strong woman (particularly one in a time period where we don't think of women having much independence) will be enormously appealing to female readers. The action is great, and Benson writes in a voice that's accessible and engaging." -- --TASHA ALEXANDER, author of Dangerous to Know

"It's action! It's adventure! It appeals to women--and to men! It's faster than a speeding bullet, and a truly terrific read. Don't miss it!" -- --HEATHER GRAHAM, New York Times best-selling author of Phantom Evil

"A thriller that brilliantly succeeds at that most difficult of authorial endeavors: blending the past and the present into a single compelling story. Filled with cutting-edge suspense, wry humor and heart-wrenching warmth, not to mention great period detail, Black Stiletto will grab you instantly and simply not let go until the final page--no, make that the final sentence." -- --JEFFERY DEAVER, New York Times best-selling author of Edge

Library Journal
Imagine waking up to discover that your Alzheimer's-striken mom had been an action figure. That's the fate of Martin Talbot, who unearths a 1958 diary kept by his mother. A New York street vigilante in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Judy Talbot later inspired a comic book series and an Angelina Jolie movie, as well as the action figure. Most of Benson's (James Bond: Choice of Weapons) thriller excerpts Judy's diary detailing her attempts, devoid of superhuman powers (à la Batman), to teach herself boxing and karate, as well as to wield the weapon that provides her crime-fighting name, the Black Stiletto; she's equally adept in stiletto heels and sews her own threads, one set for summer and another for winter. Interspersed are less interesting sections about Martin's life and a subplot dealing with a Mafia hit man whose brother had been killed by the Black Stiletto and, after 52 years in stir, is out to get her. VERDICT This mashup of the work of Gloria Steinem, Ian Fleming, and Mario Puzo, all under the editorship of Stan Lee, will appeal to fans of comic books and the movie Kick-Ass.—Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608090631
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Series: The Black Stiletto
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 794,827
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Benson is the highly acclaimed author of six original James Bond 007 novels, three film novelizations, three short stories, and two anthologies on Bond. Writing as David Michaels, Benson is a New York Times best-selling author, an Edger Alan Poe Award nominee, and a Readers' Choice Award winner for Best Thriller.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Raymond Benson came to me in June and told me about The Black St

    Raymond Benson came to me in June and told me about The Black Stiletto. He showed me the promo video for it and he asked me to review it. After I checked out the video, I had to read it! I love novels with strong female leads.

    I was NOT disappointed! This book was an amazing read and it kept me up long after my bedtime with a book light because I was dying to find out what happened next. It has all the complexity of a novel with all the action of a comic book. Raymond tells the origin story of The Black Stiletto through Judy’s diary, which is narrated by Judy herself. We are stopped every now and then by Martin, her son who is reading the diary and then a third narrator joins the bunch in Roberto Ranelli, a ghost from Judy’s past who just got paroled from Sing-Sing after 52 years with revenge on his mind.

    The characters aren’t all that draw you into the world of The Black Stiletto, the description does as well. The fight scenes, building and interior descriptions all make you feel like you’re a part of Judy’s world. Raymond even goes as far as to mention street names as Judy is traveling so it feels highly credible.

    The reader will find themselves as shocked as Martin was that little old Judy Talbot who is now in a rest home with Alzheimer’s was learning karate and boxing in the 50’s. I’m not even going to try to compare her to any other comic book character or movie superhero out there. She stands on her own as one of my favorites and while it took me a long time to post this review, I have been anxiously awaiting book two the whole time.

    I can’t thank Raymond Benson and Oceanview Publishing enough for introducing me to The Black Stiletto and for the ARC copy. It in no way influenced my review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    You never know who someone really could have been

    Martin Talbot is an accountant with an ex-wife, a daughter that wants to be an actor instead of getting a business degree, and a mother with Alzheimer’s. He gets a call from his mother’s lawyer. The attorney tells him that his mother wanted him to have an envelope and locked box if she passed away or if she became incapacitated. Martin opens the envelope and box and learns that his mother was The Black Stiletto.

    He goes to their old house and finds a secret room in the basement with her costume, newspaper and magazine clipping, other Black Stiletto memorabilia, and a collection of diaries. Martin starts reading and gets sucked into her story.

    The book starts with the past and the year 1958. Judy Cooper grew up in Texas with her mother and two brothers. Her father died during the war and her mother remarried Douglas, a roughneck from the oil fields. After an assault from Douglas, she runs away from home. She gets to New York City and makes a living for herself. There she finds that she is drawn to helping others. She starts learning boxing, karate, judo, and how to use a knife. This leads her to becoming The Black Stiletto.

    Back in the present time, Martin is bitter that his mother never told him any of this before. He is also having a hard time at work and dealing with his daughter’s career choice. We also meet Roberto. He has finally been released from prison after doing his time for murder charges. He is 78 and has a personal vendetta toward The Black Stiletto. So Roberto begins his hunt for Judy.

    I really liked this book. Judy was the best character; it’s great to see someone rise about their beginnings. What’s nice is I have learned some of the techniques that she used to defend herself and it helped me to relate to her. Martin had his own issues and I admit that I was not impressed with him as a person, great for the character though. I loved how the book goes through 1958.

    I can’t think of anything that I was not impressed with and can’t think of a single thing. I have to say that I can’t wait to get the next book in this series. If you like thrillers and super heroes, I think that this is one book that you need to read.

    I received this book for free from netGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2011

    A Must Read!

    The Black Stiletto
    Raymond Benson
    ISBN: 978-1-60809-020-4
    Sept 5, 2011
    288 pages

    Martin is presented with some keys to a secret room in the house he grew up in by his mother's attorney. There he discovers his mother's secret life; the same woman who lives in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer's. All the clues, meaning her diaries, are leading him to believe that she is the infamous, costumed heroine from the 1950's called The Black Stiletto. Martin isn't the only one who is interested in Judy Cooper's past. Someone who wants revenge is doing some digging of their own.
    This is an amazingly unique plot! Not only is the concept great; it is absorbing. I couldn't put it down and sacrificed sleep for this one. There's action, mystery, a family drama, and a tad bit of romance, so it's got something for everything. My only complaint is that I wonder if there is going to be a sequel because there were some unanswered questions. Otherwise I really enjoyed this book. I will be recommending it to everyone I know who reads.
    reviewed via Library Thing

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    exciting thriller

    Septuagenarian Judy Talbot resides in the Woodlands Nursing Home in Riverwoods, Illinois. "Uncle" Thomas gives Judy's forty-eight year old divorced son Martin the accountant a journal. Judy gave the dairy to Thomas to give to Martin if the time is right.

    Martin is stunned to learn his ailing mom claimed she was the famous pop hero of five decades ago the Black Stiletto vigilante. Judy explains what happened in 1958 when she was twenty years old. Being very tall and athletically gifted with incredible senses she dedicated herself to fighting evil. Disbelieving her account though there is great detail and he knew his mom was a terrific athlete, the skeptical Martin changes his mind when seventy-eight years old Roberto Ranelli, just released from prison after a fifty-two year stay, arrives to threaten Judy, her son and her granddaughter.

    This exciting thriller moves back and forth between Martin reading his mom's diary and Judy's description of her exploits; bridging the five decades is Ranelli who has a voice in both decades. The story line is over the top of Wrigley Field, but fun to read especially the fast-paced exploits as accounted by a young female heroine.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    New Superhero?

    I thought it sure a different way to hear about super hero. Martin Talbot mother's lawyer gave him a letter and lockbox and it he learned that his mom was the black stiletto. She was famous back in the 60's and he had no clue. In the box was blueprints of their house and it had a hidden room in basement. Their house has been up for sale for two years.
    Martin found the hidden room their house and in it was
    a bunch of journals two costumes, the knife,gun and other things. So Martin reads the journal and puts the rest in safe deposit box.
    From Judy diary he learn about the changes in her body when she 12 better hearing, didn't need glasses anymore and could tell if someone was honest or tellings lies. Tells how after her stepfather raped her she ran away to New York and her life . She learned boxing, karate and then how to use a knife. How after the murder of her friend she became the black stiletto.
    It also contains chapters of Roberto and his getting out of jail and what revenge he is planning.
    I like that Judy seamed like a real person with faults. Liked how she stopped crimes. Did not agree with revenge killings.
    Still have more questions I want to know, so I hope their is going to be more books about the Black stiletto. I will gladly read them kept me interested through the whole book.
    I was given this ebook in exchange for honest review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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