DRUMSTICKS: A NANETTE HAYS MYSTERY by Charlotte Carter
Mysterious Press, Warner Books, February, 2000
Nanette Hayes has hit rock bottom. She is drinking too much, feeling too sorry for herself, and making herself unpopular even with her friends. When one of her few remaining friends gives her a strange voodoo doll, however, her luck seems to change. She is able to break free of her alcoholic daze, begin to play her saxaphone on the streets of New York, lands a well paying job playing in an upscale restaurant, and starts to be attractive to men.
Intrigued by the doll, Nanette meets the artist who makes them and invites her to the restaurant where Nanette will be playing. When the woman is killed, Nanette feels compelled to investigate. Gradually she uncovers connections between the woman's death and other recent deaths in the world of New York Rap.
Charlotte Carter writes convincingly of African-American New York and of the single women who form an important part of it. Nanette's relationships with her female friends, her family, and the males of her life are all compellingly written. The dialogue feels authentic and snappy. The mystery itself, is less compelling. Nanette's motivation for involving herself in the mystery is somewhat weak. Her personal stake in the outcome is similarly vague.
Purchase DRUMSTICKS from Amazon.com (available in hardback).
Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?