“I fell in love with this book when I saw the cover. The gorgeous black dame with the gat in her hand harks back to the best of pulp fiction, but Black Orchid Blues, a historical novel set in 1920s Harlem, is better than any pulp I ever read … it’s simply terrific.”
Queenie Lovetree. What a name! What a performer! When she opened her mouth to sing, you closed yours to listen. You couldn’t help yourself. You knew you were going to end up with tears in your eyes. Whether they were tears of joy or tears of laughter, it didn’t matter. You just knew you were in for one hell of a ride.
Folks used to talk about her gravely voice, her bawdy banter and how she could make up new, sexy lyrics on the spot. Queenie captured you. She got inside your mind, claimed her spot and refused to give it up. Once you heard her sing a song, you’d always think of her when you heard it. No matter who was singing it, her voice came to mind.
Sure, she was moody and volatile. And yes, whatever she was feeling, she made sure you were feeling it, too. But that was good. That’s what could’ve made her great — could’ve being the operative word …
“Great history, great mystery, all wrapped up in a voice so authentic you feel it has come out of the past to whisper in your ear.”
—Lee Child, author of Worth Dying For
“Black Orchid Blues often has the wonderful ambiance of a classic, pulp-era serial.”
—Alan Cranis, Bookgasm
“Smart and soulful. Brimming with memorable characters and plot twists.”
— Gar Anthony Heywood, author of Cemetery Road
“Remarkable … Imagine the richly provocative atmosphere of Walter Mosley or James Ellroy’s best period work … and you have Black Orchid Blues.”
—Jason Starr, best-selling author of The Pack
“Taut prose, memorable characters, and a strong creation of setting to craft a terrific historical mystery.”
“A gripping crime novel with characters who’ll stick with you long after the story ends.”
“Smart and sophisticated. Walker hits all the right notes in this dark blues riff.”
Lanie Price, a 1920s Harlem society columnist, witnesses the brutal nightclub kidnapping of the “Black Orchid,” a sultry, seductive singer with a mysterious past. When hours pass without word from the kidnapper, puzzlement grows as to his motive. Then a gruesome package arrives at Price’s doorstep, and the questions change.
Just what does this kidnapper want—and how many people is he willing to kill in order to get it?
Evil hides behind the genteel façades of affluent Strivers’ Row and stalks the ballroom of one of Harlem’s most famous gay parties. In a complex plot that keeps you tied to the page, Black Orchid Blues explores the depths of human depravity and the desperation of its victims.