Amy Lignor, Feathered Quill Book Reviews:
” … the coolest detective in literature at the moment – Frank Renzi – [has] a new crime to solve.
A VIP shot [dead] in one of New Orleans’ swankiest hotels. Natalie is a truly intelligent and seductive character. Renzi’s hunt and Natalie’s actions go beyond thrilling. This is one great author!”
Readers following the coolest detective in literature at the moment – Frank Renzi – will be thrilled to know there’s a new crime for him to solve. This mystery begins in 1988 where a young girl named Natalie wakes up one day to find her mother not there, and New Orleans police outside the door with very bad news.
Fast forward to 2008. Frank Renzi and his partner have found a VIP shot dead in a swanky New Orleans hotel. The victim had gambling debts as well as a ‘nose’ for the ladies so there are many suspects. Renzi interviews the wife, who loves her kids but frankly doesn’t much care that hubby is gone. And she has an alibi.
Pushed hard to solve this high profile crime, Renzi discovers many suspects who seem to have reliable alibis. Then another man is found shot in the head in a city park. And the bullet in his brain came from the same gun that killed Peterson.
Readers will sit on-the-edge of their seats as they follow Natalie, a truly intelligent and seductive character, as she seeks revenge for what happened to her mother. When Renzi jumps on her trail he learns a great deal about her, but this may be one case he literally can’t close.
This is one great author! From her delectable mysteries to her seductive look at New Orleans – Renzi’s hunt and Natalie’s actions go beyond thrilling. Suspense readers will say “We need more Renzi…STAT!”
Don’t miss the exciting showdown between Natalie (armed, dangerous and determined) and NOPD detective Frank Renzi.
What to read after the dragon tattoo girl? Natalie’s Revenge! She’s smart, ruthless and deadly
If you love New Orleans fiction and gritty detective mysteries, follow Frank Renzi’s relentless pursuit of justice in Absolution and Diva, two more novels in this hard boiled detective series.
By Susan Fleet
Two murders twenty years apart . . .
In 1988 ten-year-old Natalie was devastated when police found her mother murdered in a sleazy New Orleans hotel. Like the dragon tattoo girl, Natalie wants revenge.
In 2008 NOPD Homicide Detective Frank Renzi investigates the murder of a VIP businessman in a ritzy French Quarter hotel. He believes it may be revenge for the 1988 murder.
The murders continue. Hindered by two hurricane evacuations, Renzi pursues the elusive Natalie.
Is she the killer? Or just another call girl?
October 1988 New Orleans.
One night Mom didn’t come home. Every morning she’d come in my room, wake me with a kiss and say in a cheery voice, “Rise and shine, Natalie. Your breakfast is ready.”
Not today. Today I woke with a start. Right away I got a creepy feeling.
Except for the rain splattering my bedroom window, our apartment was silent and still. I looked at my clock radio. The big red numbers said 8:35.
I was late for school. Even if I stayed up late watching TV, Mom always got me up in time for school. Last night before Mom left she said, “Do your homework and go to bed
and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
I buried my face in the pillow and tried to pretend it was a dream.
But down deep I knew it wasn’t. I don’t know why. Last night Mom left for work at nine o’clock same as always, wearing a pretty emerald-green dress and her lemony perfume.
Mom was beautiful, long chestnut-brown hair and big green eyes that she made look even prettier with glittery eye-shadow.
Every night before she left, she always said the same thing:
Don’t answer the phone. Don’t open the door to anyone. Don’t leave the apartment.
One night I snuck out to the corner store to buy a snack and the clerk told Mom the next day. Mom got mad and said if I ever did that again, I wouldn’t get my allowance.
I clenched my teeth, but it didn’t make the sick feeling inside me go away. I threw off the sheet, got out of bed and opened my bedroom door.
The lumpy futon in the living room where Mom slept was still upright, no sheet, no pillow. That scared me even more than the silence. After I left for school Mom usually went back to bed. She needed to sleep because she got home really late.
Mom worked as a hostess at a fancy restaurant. Or so she said. I’d never been there. I was only ten, but I watched TV, and I didn’t think hostesses wore fancy dresses and glittery eye shadow and smelled the way I imagined the women on my favorite TV shows did when they went out on dates with important men.
A delivery truck rumbled past our door, thumping over the potholes in our street. Our first-floor apartment was noisy, but Mom said hearing traffic noise beat lugging laundry and groceries up two or three flights of stairs. Mom can sleep through anything, but I’m a light sleeper.
Sometimes the sounds outside my bedroom window woke me up at night.
Opposite Mom’s futon was the breakfast bar where we ate our meals.
Normally, my milk and Cheerios and fruit would be there. But nothing was normal now. I felt sick, like I might throw up, and my hands felt weird, hot and cold at the same time and damp with sweat.
For many years award-winning novelist Susan Fleet worked as a professional trumpeter in the Boston area. While teaching at Brown University and Berklee College of Music, she discovered her dark side and began writing crime fiction. In 2001 she moved to New Orleans, the setting for her Frank Renzi mystery series.
Her award-winning crime thriller Absolution was published in 2008. Her second thriller, DIVA, came out in 2011. This novel, Natalie’s Revenge, came out in September 2012.
Susan began trumpet lessons with her uncle at eight, joined the musician’s union at fifteen and began playing with the local concert band. She later studied with Armando Ghitalla and Roger Voisin, principal trumpeters of the Boston Symphony.
As a Boston area freelancer she played Broadway musicals, operas, orchestral concerts, and solo trumpet recitals.
Her 1993 CD, Baroque Treasures for Trumpet and Organ, won critical acclaim in Fanfare (“assured and musical”) and American Record Guide (“flawless technique, tasteful dynamics”).
Susan has taught at Brown University, Wheaton College and Berklee College of Music. At Berklee she created a course about 20th Century women musicians, jazz and classical. In New Orleans she gave jazzwomen lectures at the Jazz National Historic Park, New Orleans Public Library, Dillard University, and the Louis Armstrong Festival.
A recognized authority on female musicians and a frequent speaker, on April 30, 2012 she had the honor of introducing legendary BSO principal flutist Doriot Anthony Dwyer at the Rochester (NY) Music Hall of Fame Awards.
Her e-book, Women Who Dared: Trailblazing 20th Century Musicians, spotlights the lives and careers of violinist Maud Powell and trumpeter Edna White.
Susan now divides her time between Boston and the Big Easy, and is hard at work on her next Frank Renzi mystery.