Nica Sheridan Taggart Ambrose Taggart Ickovic (S.T.A.T.Ic.) craves action and change, which leaves her life as stable as old dynamite. She appoints herself a private detective and gets a mysterious case that leads her into adventures beyond imagining - and she's got a crazy imagination.
She enters a world of multiple dimensions called Frames, where buildings and lawn chairs can be sentient, a stray cat has great powers, books can be killers, and clouds can be spies. On the surface, Nica tackles missing person cases, while in the larger reality of the Frames she is swept into an escalating battle with stakes that could not be higher.
In this first book of the FRAMES quartet, a band of allies that includes structures, landforms, and creatures sets out to stop Warty Sebaceous Cysts, a repulsive trio. The Cysts casually commit genocide to free their imprisoned leader, Maelstrom, who would bring cruelty and horror to all the Frames. There is danger everywhere in the Frames, but also a mind-boggling expansion of reality. Nica feels challenged, engrossed, and strangely at home. As she sees it, she was born to travel the Frames.
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I became aware that the air had changed. My office smelled like a forest just after a flash flood, when everything is power-washed and tree trunks are smeared with riverbed mud. Fresh and wild.
It took much strength to gently lower that window, but the stranger's arms - all sinew and muscle - showed no strain. I took a step back to get a fuller look and to get farther away. He was a wolf. I don't mean a predatory flirt, I mean he was long and lean and fast and dangerous: coarse black hair, ice-gray eyes and smile full of teeth, supreme confidence backed with survival instinct.
"Please sit down," I suggested or pleaded as I retreated behind my desk. As he complied, muscles flexed inside his garments, a loose cotton tunic and drawstring pants that were as gray as February.
She sat down, too. My other visitor was a princess: not as in daddy's spoiled girl, as in future queen of the fairies. She was as ethereal as he was earthy, exotic but I couldn't place the ethnic background. Cornsilk hair, slanted eyes like unpolished silver, her skin like the penny you've always kept in your pocket for luck. Her tunic was white as a desert sunrise. "We are in need of your detective arts," she said.
"That tends to be why people come to this office." The joke was stillborn. "I'm good with accents but I can't place yours. Where are you from?"
"Knowledge of our ancestry provides no value. We have need of your assistance," he said, in a voice that never needed help from anybody.
"The fate of the free worlds is at stake," she added, in a voice like the first spring breeze on snow.
"Oh-kay." Note to self, cancel ad in NUTJOB QUARTERLY.
About the Author
... Concert stage, dark except for a deep blue spotlight. Singer drops to one knee and his narration evolves from murmur to rant. "This is the story of a man who got what he wanted but he lost what he had. He got what he wanted but he lost what he had. He got –" ... It goes on forever. It's mesmerizing. Uncomfortable. Confessional. Pretty sure this memory is from the time I saw James Brown, decades ago, but the lost identity of the singer isn't the point. I've spent my life gazing across some fence or other, admiring greener grass over yonder. I've acted on so many impulses to jump the fence. No complaints, but it has sure taken me a long time to appreciate where I'm standing right now. And nowadays that blue spotlight chant fills my head whenever I contemplate a new jump. Sometimes I jump back. I was a low–budget television producer until I wrote a psychological thriller, "Was It A Rat I Saw", which Bantam–Doubleday–Dell published in hardcover in 1992. Soon after that I became the mother of twins, jumped into graduate school, and became a disaster scientist. I dabbled in academia, government research, and consulting. I stopped writing fiction for nearly two decades, until I noticed how much I missed it. I resumed writing novels with the literary fiction "Scar Jewelry" about a family with secrets that started in the era of Los Angeles punk and persist for decades; then began the speculative detective quartet FRAMES, with "Nica of Los Angeles" and "Nica of the New Yorks". Also in progress is a nine novella series, the young adult paranormal horror romance, "DDsE". Funny. Back in the day, I had a single book idea at a time. Now I'm flooded with them, can't keep up with them, though I write just about every day. I live in southern California. I had to leave for five years to confirm this is where I belong. I live with multiple cats, comfortably close to my twins and granddaughter. Like my life paths, my friends and family are all over the damn place. I like to visit them, spend time at the ocean, explore cities, and go out to hear live music.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a good story about things not being as they seem on the surface. Nica is a PI who starts to see things in a new way when she is approached for detective work by three different clients. She has to learn how to deal with all of the revelations that she is experiencing, as well as travel through the frames without getting herself into too much trouble. When she is forbidden to travel within the frames and from communicating with her new friends, she will need to get creative in her detective skillset. This story gives life to things that are not traditionally alive, such as a lawn chair on the roof of her building, and a cat that she did not give much thought to in the past, who is actually a skilled traveler within the frames.
A unique and engaging story! In “Nica of Los Angeles”, Sue Perry has created a reality filled with Frames. The Frames are linked together by Connectors and there are Travelers who move between the Frames. Some Frames are free and some are neutral, and the whole thing is overseen by the Framekeeps. Nica has spent her life drifting from one husband to another and from job to job. She finds herself having inherited the lease on an office and decides to be a private detective. Her first day she gets 3 clients, 1 of them will change her life. Anya and Anwyl travel through the Frames and find themselves in need of help from a Neutral in order to defeat the Warty Sebaceous Cysts who have plotted genocide against the people of the Halcyon Frame. They recruit Nica and the whirlwind adventure begins. I enjoyed the concept of the Frames which is new to me. The author’s imagination with this concept seem to have no limits. There are buildings that are sentient and can talk and move around in some Frames. There are Gumby like humanoids and earthworms that are Healers. Ms. Perry gets kudos for creativity here. Her main characters are well developed. The story did seem to get bogged down with descriptions at times and this was a little frustrating. Overall, I enjoyed the story because the plot line was complex and interesting.
First off I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This is not an easy book to review nor was it always an easy book to read. That sounds like a bad thing so let me first say that the book was excellent and I thoroughly recommend it. Having said that I did struggle with the first half of the book. Perry has created a very complex and complicated world however she explains it very simply and just asks us to take her word that this is how things are. The main character, Nica, does exactly that, accepting this bizarre paradigm shift in the way the world is without batting an eyelash. Actually I must be much more closed minded than Nica because it took me far longer than her to wrap my head around the events of the book. Once I did buy in to the world though wow what a world it was. Anything can happen and anything does happen. This book also had a lot of humor and Perry is very very clever with her writing which was a blast through out the book. All in all anyone who can should certainly pick up this book. It made me think and it made me feel which are great attributes in a book.