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Yay for Julie Smith

I read a lot of mysteries, & I suppose like everyone who does, I am happy when I find a series I can live with for a nice long run. I like books set in places I've spent time, nothing too dark (no Mafia, please, except in Donna Leon), & good writing. And then there's something that either catches you or doesn't. I like Agatha Christie but not Ngaio Marsh, for example: can't really say why.

I've been a fan of Julie Smith since stumbling on the Skip Langdon series when they first came out in the early 1990s. I was drawn first by the bright energetic covers, stayed for the people & plots. A good writer with a big heart. And—lucky me!—Julie Smith is prolific.

Right now I'm loving the Talba Wallis series. New Orleans, with all its rollicking complexities, is a central character, along with terrific people: the poet and coming-up PI Talba, grizzled veteran Eddie Valentino, & their families. Their relationships are complicated, difficult, loving: in a word, real.

I usually cringe when a character is a poet, because most novelists write really terrible poetry, but Talba's not only fits her character beautifully, it is pretty great.

Being the persnickety editor that I am, I took Julie Smith up on the challenge she prints right in her books to find errors. I actually can't help but notice typos in what I read—I wish I could. So I emailed her with my list & she couldn't have been nicer & more genuine in our exchange.

So I not only like her books, I like her. Who could ask for more? Well, I could use another Talba Wallis adventure, please.
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