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Miami Purity

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  284 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
“Sex and murder, sunny places and shady people—Miami Purity is a modern noir masterpiece.”—Michael Connelly

Miami Purity is the toughest, sexiest, most original debut noir novel ever written. . . . Gripping, super-sexy, and unforgettably raw.”—Lauren Henderson

“Vicki Hendricks has been called the ‘Queen of Noir,’ and after reading Miami Purity you’ll know why.”—Timothy Lock
Paperback, 170 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Busted Flush Press, LLC (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

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Cathy DuPont
Sep 27, 2014 Cathy DuPont rated it it was amazing
For a first time novelist, the author, Vicki Hendricks is gutsy and her writing is, in my estimation, courageous and amazing.

There are no innuendos in this book. Written in the first person, Sherry Parlay is a professional and talented exotic dancer recently retired from the profession. So the language Sherry uses is the language which she knows. So fair warning to the faint of heart or if you’re shy and reserved and easily offended, pass this book up. Otherwise, jump in because it’s a great re
Richard Vialet
*3.5 Stars*
Vicki Hendricks' acclaimed erotic debut novel takes it's cue from noir godfather James M. Cain and is a clear homage to his The Postman Always Rings Twice . In this one, after exotic dancer Sherri Parlay "accidentally" kills her abusive husband, she decides to start over fresh. One way to do it is to get a legit job working at the indie dry cleaners Miami Purity. Here she quickly falls for the owner's son and his "Jagger-lips," but his controlling mom stands in the way.

Hendricks' noi
Aug 22, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
For a book about dry cleaners, this is pretty... dirty.

Okay, now that I have my sunglasses off and the soundtrack has appropriately gone "YEEEEEAHHHHH," let's talk Miami Purity, which is a steamy, rich, atmospheric Postman Always Rings Twice homage, this time with a tough female chump who can't stop thinking about a troublesome guy's luscious lips. Sherri has been stripping and dancing for years, but a recent spell in jail for accidentally killing her abusive husband has got her in the mood to g
Jackson Burnett
Nov 09, 2012 Jackson Burnett rated it really liked it
Vicki Hendricks writes what James M. Cain leaves out except from a female point of view. With Miami Purity, Hendricks pushes hard-boiled fiction to the next level. A very powerful novel from a very powerful writer.
Scott E
Aug 10, 2009 Scott E rated it really liked it
Raunchy and delicious. Near perfect rendering of tough noir that isn't too dark (i.e. Bruen is dark to the point of boredom).
Rating: 4.4
Jul 06, 2007 Derek rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: twisted noir fans
This is a book that is not for the squeamish. It's a contemporary noir story set in Miami involving sex, murder, and lots of kink.
May 03, 2015 Greg rated it it was amazing
Miami Purity = Pure Noir

Purity generally carries the sense of cleanliness. That’s not the case in this book. If there’s any purity in Vicki Hendricks Miami Purity it is pure trash noir – and I mean that as a tremendous compliment. I found this book (like so many others) due to it being mentioned in a Ken Bruen novel (Bust, co-authored with Jason Starr). I read Miami Purity in one day, virtually in one sitting – it was that good.

Miami Purity is told from the first person POV of Sherri Parlay, a t
Jul 22, 2011 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, kindle, read_2011
Sherri Parlay just wants to turn her life around, hitting mid thirties she's had enough of taking her clothes off at a strip club for a living and wants something a little less risky and little more 9 to 5. That's how she ends up at Miami Purity, a family owned dry cleaning business headed up by a mother son combo. The son, Payne, in particular, is all the drive she needs to leave the life behind and start afresh and in no time at all she's up to her neck in garments, Payne and normalcy. Being a ...more
Chris Devlin
Oct 16, 2011 Chris Devlin rated it it was amazing
Vicki Hendricks is on a short list--women who write noir fiction. Miami Purity is her first book and she does a fine job carrying on in the tradition of great crime writers like James Ellroy and James M. Cain. Her main character is a down-on-her-luck ex-stripper who loves all the wrong guys and is looking for a fresh start. She thinks she's found it when she gets a job at Miami Purity Dry Cleaners, but Sherry has brought all of her old ways along with her. Boozing, letting men chase her until ...more
Nov 01, 2007 Pamster rated it really liked it
Dirty, pervy Florida noir with a fuckup woman protagonist. Lots of fucking and bad decisions.

I read it because I saw her (I think newly reprinted) books on the shelf at the feminist bookstore, looked her up and realized she's a major writer in contemporary noir, constantly compared to James Cain (Postman Always Rings Twice). This was her first book, and I'll read more.

I really liked the sex except for 2 things: first there was this guy who she was constantly remarking had perfect PLEATS in his
Mar 23, 2015 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At the end of reading this book, I felt as if I'd just been forced to watch the 2011 movie Killer Joe all over again.

Plenty of other people like Miami Purity, though, and certainly it's readable in the same way that it's difficult to turn away from accident scenes, so go look at other GR reviews of it.
Rory Costello
Aug 11, 2015 Rory Costello rated it it was ok
This one didn't really connect for me. For a story that's loaded with sex to the point of being porn, I didn't find it very erotic -- unlike, say, the movie "Body Heat". Plus, for a rather short book, it takes a pretty long time to get to its major twists -- though those are good ones when they finally arrive. The dry-cleaning backdrop was also different and interesting.
Nov 13, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir, florida
Rough, ragged, and brutish, but perfectly amped-up noir. In the best tradition of Cain and Chandler, Hendricks achieves a lot with a startling economy of words - she captures that down-at-heel, low-hope world perfectly.
Annette McMillan
Nov 09, 2011 Annette McMillan rated it it was amazing
murder in miami with sex off the charts, who can ask for anything more?
Jan 23, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
Wow. This one is hard to describe... kind of a mystery but truly amazing!
Craig Pittman
Aug 11, 2016 Craig Pittman rated it it was amazing
WOW. This book has been on my to-read list for years, and so when I saw it on the shelf at a Miami-area bookstore recently I bought it and started reading. It's so short -- just 152 pages -- I figured I'd finish it in a day or so. I was wrong. From its stunner of an opening to its grim conclusion, this book floored me. I had to keep stopping to scrape my jaw off the ground and absorb just what had taken place.

That this was a debut novel seems amazing now. South Florida writer Vicki Hendricks tel
Sep 19, 2011 Jenn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: flirty
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 24, 2016 Robin rated it really liked it
After a slow first quarter of the book, where I wondered where it was going, the interest and the pace picked up and I started to really enjoy it. This is very much a character-driven story and the characters were all very well portrayed, from Sherry, former stripper, good-time girl and accidental husband killer trying to shake off her past and live a straight, respectable life, to her lover Payne, a good-looker with a religious and Mummy fixation who turns out to be a cheating liar and control ...more
Feb 28, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Charles Willeford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Guy Salvidge
Sep 22, 2015 Guy Salvidge rated it really liked it
My second Hendricks novel; her first. It's a fairly simple love triangle thingy set in and around a dry-cleaners in Miami. What makes this a little different is the frank sex talk from a female perspective. It's pretty dirty. Otherwise this is standard fare, not especially well written but tolerably so. It would have been a three-star book for me, except that the final 20 pages were strong. Next up: Iguana Love.
Jun 02, 2012 Christina rated it it was ok
I stumbled upon Miami Purity on a library shelf and was intrigued by its cover. The original cover work is in bright neon and pink and captures the essence of South Beach signage. Just like South Beach, this book is full of sex, bad choices, and entertainment. I was intrigued and definitely shocked by some of the material. Definitely a weird book!
Jun 27, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dark, chilling and sexy first novel by Vicki Hendricks. Her writing is bold, forward and at times shocking (watch out for the slightly unnecessary dog scene – you’ll never get it our of your head!) She really sets the seedy scene. An excellent femme noir offering with plenty of attitude.
Mar 26, 2012 Doug rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
(Just catching up on old titles that Good Reads is recommending, but I've already read.) I remember liking this book a lot -- though I read it a decade or so ago. I liked the dry cleaner setting and the desperate protagonist.
Shannon Clements
Mar 12, 2015 Shannon Clements rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent noir novel, just know that it is eroticnoir and Ms. Hendricks does an awesome job of making Sherri real and believable. So the language might seem crude, but it is perfect for the character. Highly recommended if you can roll with that.
Genevieve Michaels
Feb 10, 2015 Genevieve Michaels rated it really liked it
Dark and disturbing! Everyone in the book is so casual about the horrifying situations around them. There should be more female centric noir/mystery.
Craig Buck
Sep 03, 2014 Craig Buck rated it really liked it
A terrific writer who makes women's sexuality real and vibrant in a way that many lack the courage to do. The perfect confluence of sex and murder.
Dec 14, 2010 Greg rated it liked it
I expected a Hitchcock twist but never got it. Sex sells this book. Good writing and character development but a more complex plot would have made me happier.
Dec 11, 2014 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Erotica noir. No way I'm going to try to describe that. But I liked the book despite the high degree of sexuality.
May 20, 2015 Cherie rated it really liked it
No sure I want to know what it says about me, but I loved this book. Quite dark, but oh so, so funny!
DP Lyle
Jul 22, 2014 DP Lyle rated it it was amazing
Down, dirty, and in your face as only Vicki Hendricks can do it. I loved this book.

DP Lyle, Award-winning author of the Samantha Cody and Dub Walker thriller series
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“I'd rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.” 5 likes
“I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.” 3 likes
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