Tart-tongued and shrewd—with a keen nose for trouble—Blanche is unique in the field of amateur sleuths: a queen-sized, middle-aged black woman rooted in working-class America. Blanche sees at a glance what people, and society, are up to—especially if it’s criminal. This time, she’s filling in as cook-housekeeper to a Boston Brahmin politician and his venal wife when she becomes enmeshed in a festering canker of a scandal that moves from the Brindles’ house in Brookline (a.k.a Prozac House) to the center of her own black community in Roxbury. Hot on the trail, she encounters a love triangle with bent angles, teen pregnancy, phony spirituality, and at least one person who doesn’t mean her any good. In Blanche, BarbaraNeely has created a heroine to cheer for—and Blanche Cleans Up is a novel that will thrill not only her ardent fans and other mystery buffs, but also mainstream readers eager to explore a new neighborhood with a feisty, funny black woman as their guide.
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