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A songbird is silenced ... by murder.With her soulful voice and delicate beauty, Starr Hendrix seemed destined to live up to her name and hit it big as a jazz singer. But her career ended before it began, and Mali's father offered Starr a second chance by giving her top billing as singer for his popular jazz band's latest show. Mali isn't surprised when Starr doesn't show -- but everyone is shocked when the troubled woman is found savagely murdered....The prime suspect is a low-life pimp with a grudge against Starr. But then the pimp stops a bullet -- and everyone suspects Starr's devastated father of exacting his own revenge. Mali vows to use her experience as a former cop to find the real killer. Her search will take her in and out of the "three B's" of Harlem: the beauty shops, barbershops, and the bars. But it will also lead Mali directly into the path of a killer -- one who, if not stopped, will almost surely strike again....From the Paperback edition.
An ex-cop's habits die hard.... Savvy, streetwise former cop Mali Anderson left the NYPD with a lawsuit and a lot of bitterness. Now she's on her way to a master's in sociology, living with her jazz musician father and mothering her orphaned nephew, Alvin. As Mali walks past the stylish town houses of Harlem's Strivers Row to meet Alvin at his rehearsal with the Uptown Children's Chorus, she hears a child's panicked screams--and witnesses a struggle. Mali thwarts the child's abduction, but as the car roars away, she finds a body in the street. The dead man is her friend Erskin Harding, tour director of the Chorus.The memory of her friend and the peril of her nephew drive Mali to track down the killer. It's a search that will take her from a gossip-filled beauty parlor to a dark, decaying crack house and--as anonymous warnings escalate into violence--could even lead her to her grave.From the Paperback edition.
A serial killer stalks Harlem's Strivers' Row...On a sweltering Harlem summer night, ex-cop Mali Anderson steps out to celebrate her friend Claudine's divorce from a handsome, cheating deadbeat who couldn't keep his fists out of her face. But Claudine doesn't show up for their dinner. Instead, she is found brutally murdered in her elegant home just off Strivers' Row, and Mali has no doubt Claudine's ex did it. Despite his threats, she can't keep out of the investigation. Especially when another woman meets the same savage, bizarre fate....The two murders are just the start of a trail that leads street-smart Mali through the trash-talking and wise philosophizing of barbershops, beauty parlors, and bars...and toward a cunning killer whose homegrown hatred is zeroing in on Mali herself.From the Paperback edition.
Murder casts a shadow over the soul of Harlem....When she's not studying for her master's or dropping in on her father's jazz gigs, ex-cop Mali Anderson checks out the scene at Harlem's smoky Half-Moon Bar. She wasn't there for singer-bartender Thea Morris's birthday party, but someone else was--someone who shot Thea to death outside in the alley. Was it her boyfriend, now sitting in jail on suspicion of murder? His sister insists he's innocent--and wants her friend Mali to clear his name.Thea herself is a mystery: a lonely beauty in an apartment too deluxe for a woman living on tip money, with a gamut of lovers from an aspiring actor to an ambitious politician. It will take all Mali's savvy--and sources from street-corner buzz to uptown cocktail chat--to unravel Thea's life and death. And it will take her every survival instinct to catch a killer who will kill again to keep a deadly secret.From the Paperback edition.