Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely. New York. 1992. St Martin's Press. 180 pages. Jacket artwork by Sandra Dionisi. 0312069081.


Blanche is a maid with a strong feminist black working-class perspective, who has to solve a murder mystery that she would rather not, in the well-to-do household where she works. Barbara Neely's 1st Blanche White novel is a real treat.






   Blanche White, a forty-year-old black domestic with big thighs, a wry sense of humor, and a jaundiced view of the rich, is a most unlikely and reluctant sleuth. When someone is killed in the wealthy household where she is working - and hiding out from the Sheriff - Blanche would just as soon mind her own business, given that she's already got her own troubles with the law. But since she is the most likely suspect unless she uncovers the real killer, Blanche puts her considerable wit and intelligence to work. With the help of the remarkably efficient old-girl network among domestic workers, Blanche attacks the tangled web surrounding the murder to try and nail the true killer in time. In the process, Blanche provides a running commentary from a black, working-class, feminist perspective that is new to the mystery genre and rare in any fiction. 



Neely BarbaraBarbaraNeely is also the author of BLANCHE ON THE LAM and BLANCHE AMONG THE TALENTED TENTH, for which she won awards that include the Agatha, the Anthony, and the Macavity. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. 













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