“In the third entry in this series, real-life concerns contrast with the comic book–like escapism of the Black Stiletto’s adventures of 50-plus years past, all likely to heighten anticipation for the next two series entries, promised for 2014."
“This action-packed thriller, told through diary entries, conveys the spirit of 1960, as an exciting presidential hopeful captures the nation's hearts.”
“As usual, Benson is extremely good with the historic details that create verisimilitude as with Judy's observations on the music of the times and the growing political interest of Miss Judy Cooper as she becomes a 'Kennedy Girl.' …you'll likely want to carry on with the saga and hope at least one more novel will answer many of the questions left in place since it all began.”
Seattle Post Intelligencer
“Raymond Benson’s new series featuring the tales of the Black Stiletto are a load of fun. The Black Stiletto: Stars & Stripes, book three, is another great pulp tale of the mysterious heroine which unfolds for the reader as her son reads her diaries. Top notch espionage and action, family drama and a superhero! Benson does a great job of switching time periods and the center of action. This is FUN stuff.”
“Anyone who enjoyed Batgirl’s adventures is going to love the Black Stiletto. A crusader for justice, she’s not always fearless, but she’s relentlessly driven to balance the scales. Benson’s series third is a compelling story that scans back and forth over the course of 40 years, showing how each character is affected by a past that none has any control over.”
Excerpts from Judy Cooper’s 1960 diary provide the main narrative for Benson’s diverting, nostalgia-filled third thriller featuring the costumed vigilante known as the Black Stiletto (after 2012’s The Black Stiletto: Black and White). In the present, Judy’s grown son, Martin Talbot, tries to come to terms with the past of his mother, who’s now afflicted with Alzheimer’s. That past is revealed by her diaries. In Eisenhower-era New York City, Judy has various adventures that touch on such burning issues of the day as the communist menace and race relations. In particular, the naïve but game Judy attempts to help teen Billy Shen Lee, whose father was killed by neighborhood gangsters in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Later, she becomes a “Kennedy Girl” and meets the candidate (“I swear, if he wasn’t married, I’d be all over him”). Judy gives and takes a lot of punishment as the misunderstood Black Stiletto literally fights crime with girlish enthusiasm. Agent: Peter Miller, Global Lion. (Apr.)
Middle-aged Martin knows his mother, who has Alzheimer's, was once the Black Stiletto, a vigilante heroine who fought crime in New York, but he's determined not to betray her secrets. But through Judy Cooper's diary entries readers learn of her adventures in 1960. Judy's martial arts skills prove crucial as she helps protect presidential candidate John F. Kennedy; in her spare time she also tackles the local gang wars in New York's Chinatown and takes a stab at civil rights work. In the present day Martin suspects his college-age daughter is exhibiting talents similar to her grandmother's. The sandwich-generation Martin must act. VERDICT This action-packed thriller, told through diary entries, conveys the spirit of 1960, as an exciting presidential hopeful captures the nation's hearts. While the third entry in Benson's series (after The Black Stiletto: Black & White) is occasionally off-putting (the diary format isn't for everyone), Benson's knack for toggling back and forth in time gives readers two engaging storylines to pursue. The Black Stiletto isn't Wonder Woman, but her moxie is sure to be a hit with the Comic-Con crowd.