Select one of the keywords
Black & White: The Black Stiletto    by Raymond Benson Amazon.com order for
Black & White
by Raymond Benson
Order:  USA  Can
Oceanview, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Black Stiletto: Black & White by Raymond Benson is a little different no, a lot different from the usual mystery. In this novel, Benson switches back and forth between 1959 and the present day. He does it adroitly and this technique works very well.

In 1959, The Black Stiletto discovers that the heroin king of Harlem has imprisoned her beloved martial arts instructor's daughter in a house of ill repute. Not a nice place at all.

In the present day, Judy Cooper is in a nursing home in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease. Her son Martin discovers his mother's diaries from the days she donned her disguise as Black Stiletto and roamed the city's streets looking for wrongs to right.

Back to 1959. Her struggles pay off, but not before the local police and FBI declare her a menace to the city. So she must not only fight crime but evade capture at the same time. She finds she has feelings for a local FBI agent. That proves interesting.

Still 1959. Judy seems intent on telling her diary that she believes all humans should be treated fairly. It's a time of great unrest over racial issues and she seems to want to convince herself she is unbiased.

In the present day. Martin wants to find this FBI agent to see if he knows any more about his mother. A blackmailer approaches Martin, seeking payment for some old film of Judy that would unmask her.

The book was fun trying to imagine a superhero flitting through our streets. The diaries sound as though written by a young woman, though they still are a trifle stiff. But they do have a story to tell. This novel, a sequel to The Black Stiletto, was a quick diverting read.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews