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Black Orchid Blues (The Lanie Price Mystery Novels)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  153 ratings  ·  51 reviews
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 a word from the kidnapper, puzzlement grows as to his motive. After a gruesome package arrives at Price's doorstep, the questions change. Just what does the kidnapper want--and how many pe ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published February 9th 2011)
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Mocha Girl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

It's true that I've been disappointed lately in a whole string of titles from the usually excellent Akashic Books, not exactly bad reads but just not up to their usual exacting standards; but I'm glad to say that the latest by them, Persia Walker's Black Orchid Blues, is a great return to form, I suspect b
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads, and I am very happy that I did. I nearly always enjoy the chance to read a book that I don't think I would have normally picked up.

This book was a complete joy to read. The story is engaging, the storytelling is smooth and wonderfully well paced. The book follows Lanie Price, a society column writer, and her journey through a mystery that begins with the kidnapping of a local singer in 1920's Harlem. Ms Price uses fantastic detailing (a
This book is the APOOO July BOM...I'm hoping it's a good read as I've heard nothing but good things about it from fellow bookclub members. Of course, MochaGirl enjoyed it and since she and I have similar reading taste, I don't think I can go wrong with Black Orchid Blues.

UPDATE THIS BOOK WAS MINDBLOWING...if you enjoy mysteries then you will like this one.
I must admit that the cover was a total turn off. It reeked of go-girl crossover fiction. Nevertheless, I read the jacket and am a total sucker for historical fiction. The story started off slow - yet pretty good with little cussing - another turn of mine - call me a prude - no problem -- I own it! I believe it was around page 60-70 something - where it clicked. A fast-paced drama - with all the right - whodunit - and chocolate love story in the midst of 1920s Harlem - one of the blackest places ...more
This was the first piece of fictional mystery that I read by author Persia Walker, and I was not a bit disappointed by it. Black Orchid Blues took the form of a historical, fictional mystery, in that Walker based the novel during the time period of the 1920’s in Harlem, New York. She also included well known Harlem figures during that era, including A’Lelia Walker, who is the daughter of the legendary Madam C.J Walker. Embarrassingly, this was only the second African American author who I’ve rea ...more
I just purchased this novel yesterday because a friend referred it. Am reading it on my PC -- this is a first for me, I usually prefer a book in my hand. But I must keep up with the times. Looking forward to getting into the story. The friend who referred it is a book reviewer so I trust her opinion when she says a book is a good.

I'm sooo sorry that I bought this book from eBook Kindle to be read on my computer. (I don't have an eReader, a new computer comes first, when I get the money). I have
First time I ever picked up a book by this author and the cover spoke to me when I tried to pass it by at the library. Yet, once I opened the book, I was en-captivated by the author's style of writing and voice in the literature is timeless. I love it and want to read the other books; yet, I did not know it was a series/installments. I hope to find out what is book 1 and so forth.

The descriptions are splendid and delightful to read, some say it may be an overkill but as a writer myself, I enjoy
Rhonda Lane
Smoky clubs, slow jazz and Harlem in the Roaring 20s.

I don't tend to give an synopsis with my reviews. I will say that I couldn't wait to get back into this book after I had to put it down for various Real Life obligations (like, well, sleep). Lanie's voice keeps us at the center of the action. Surprises are many. At least, they were surprises for me.

There is an incident, when you read it, that I bet you'll guess what really happened but Lanie won't - at least, not as quickly, anyway. There's r
Jessica Delgado
I found this abandoned in the lobby of my grandmother's apartment complex. I was disappointed to see that someone would abandon a book, but delighted to know that I would be able to read it. Naturally, I was skeptical because I didn't know what this book was about, but after reading some reviews that all seemed to be happy across the board with it, I optimistically gave it a chance- and I was very glad that I did. The twists and turns of the inner mind behind a single individual which determines ...more
Jan 03, 2011 Persia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? It's my book. I truly enjoyed writing it. It's the second in the Lanie Price series. Lanie witnesses the brutal kidnapping of a night club singer and soon finds herself up to her neck in trouble. It's a fun ride for the reader, but not so much for Lanie as she unravels a dark and twisting story.
Black Orchid Blues by Persia Walker is more than a mystery. It's a highly dramatic book about the mind of a person who operates outside of his gender. Queenie/Junior is an impersonator in a New York high society nightclub during the 1920's. Queenie is kidnapped at the nightclub. It causes chaos and mayhem. However, this is not just a novel about the murderous rages of a psychotic mind. It's also a novel about the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. Persia Walker shares on a deep level what a child ...more

In 1920s New York, Lanie Price, the society columnist for Harlem, finds herself in the midst of an interview with the beautiful and mysterious singer, the Black Orchid, when a gunman enters the club shooting at innocent bystanders as he demands the Black Orchid go with him. Having witnessed the brutal kidnapping, Lanie is surprised when a ransom demand doesn't immediately surface.

As days pass by, Lanie finds herself brought further into the kidnapping as she attempts to help in tracking
I did not like that the author provided very little background on the characters, it's all about the mystery. I wanted to know more about Lanie Price's family; was she Harlem born-and-bred? Or did she move from the South? The North? How did she get the job she did? I had too many questions about the main character which is probably apt for a mystery novel but I didn't like it. To be fair, I just realized (while I was researching some info for this review) that this is the 2nd book in the Lanie P ...more
Was blown away by this book..This was totally out of my comfort zone as it dealt with the Harlem Renaissance.. and while I truly love, admire and respect ALL the authors that come out of this tumultous period I rarely read their work--shame on me I know but after reading a few Langston Hughes poems, a Countee Cullen novel, Phyllis Wheatley you know major African American classics I find them awfully depressing, real and emotional yes but terribly sad.. sorry but seriously--okay so this book has ...more
JoAnne Pulcino
Persia Walker
This is the third book in a series and it is a wonderful historical and gritty mystery about the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s. The atmosphere and haunting mood of the era almost becomes a character as it is so well done. The heroine of the book is Lanie Price, the Harlem Chronicle’, society columnist who is a fiercely independent women who doesn’t often listen to her editor or the police.
Queenie Lovetree, the six foot three drag queen who is billed as The Blac
I'm not much for writing reviews but this is a GREAT whodunit!
I love the imagery Walker uses and the diction to bring the reader into the world of Upper Class Colored Harlem. Lainie is a great reporter but her bleeding heart leads her down a dark path that threatens to kill her.

Point blank period the character of the Black Orchid is beyond complex...a must read!
Hopeton Hay
It's an interesting look at Harlem in the 1920s. The main character is a society columnist for a Black newspaper who witnesses the brutal abduction of a night club singer that she was planning to feature in her column. Naturally she decides to investigate and we are given a view of the nightlife of Harlem that took me by surprise. It reminds me of a Hitchcock movie with plot twists and shocking revelations.

I'm interviewing the author, Persia Walker, for my show KAZI Book Review. The interview w
Set in the 1920s in Harlem, this is a mystery thriller novel that stars Lanie Price as an investigative journalist who witnesses the kidnapping of the Black Orchid, a popular nightclub singer. Lanie finds herself drawn into the story of the Black Orchid who goes by the name Queenie Lovetree as she tries to find out who would have kidnapped Queenie. Lanie discovers that things are not what they seem about Queenie and the story has several twists and turns. I enjoyed reading this well-written nove ...more
Kitty Honeycutt

Persia Walker writes the kind of mystery-thriller that draws you so far in you cannot stop reading until the end and even then you don't want it to stop. With her ability to plunge you into the past and weave a reality of that time period so thickly around you, she leaves you no room to wiggle your way out.

"Black Orchid Blues," is the kind of mystery that leaves you breathless and amazed. You will never suspect the truth behind "Queenie and Lanie" th
Sheryl Carkhum-Lord
I liked this book about Social life in Harlem and the Gay community. The main character Lanie was often going above and beyond to get the story.
Third of the series and I've loved them all. Wonderful historical mystery.
I won this book through the goodreads give away and I must say it was a extremely surprise. Normally I enjoy neither novels in historical settings nor mysteries but the story really takes the reader there. Instead of looking in on the story, the reader is apart of it. It's captivating and intriguing and nicely paced. There is very little in terms of dull moments. Persia Walker's diction and tone tell the story on such a engaging level and make it descriptive and poetic. The dialogue is real. Sim ...more
This is a murder mystery with a twist...a rather fascinating one at that. It's set in 1920's Harlem and reveals some remarkable history on famous blacks during that time. I can usually guess the ending but this one had me on the edge of my set waiting for the next thing to happen. There are several bloody scenes described and undertones of homosexual activity. A few slow areas peppered the book but not enough to deter me from recommending this one.
I recieved this book from First Reads. I was attracted by its cover and the fact that it was a mystery. I enjoyed the story though I found it was kind of slow in parts. It was creative and I liked the time period it was written in (1920's Harlem). The characters were well put together but I didn't really find myself drawn in by them. I would recommend if you're looking for something than your normal mystery story to read.
Really good, gripping, crazy, ridiculous murder mystery. There were parts of the book that got really corny for me, and the ending seemed quite ridiculous, but the majority of the book was so intriguing that I honestly didn't care. This book kind of came across like the Black woman's answer to... (full review at Zora_Toni-Maya)
I really liked Ms. Walkers writing style. Her descriptions of that time period were very vivid, from describing Strivers row, the telephones they used, and the Faggots Ball. I could easily picture it all, especially the scene with Juniors parents. The storyline constantly held my attention, and the twist was AWSOME. I look forward to reading more of her work. Anyone interested in a good mystery, this is your book.
Yes! A new Lanie Price book! In the latest of the Lanie Price series, a local star is kidnapped in a crowded nightclub and Lanie is one of the main witnesses. As she begins to work the case, she soon learns that her involvement was deliberate.

Black Orchid Blue has twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages...and its hard to stop reading!

Overall, it was a great read; worth checking out.
Tobyann Aparisi
Apr 04, 2011 Tobyann Aparisi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Tobyann by: first reads
I won this book on good reads/first reads give aways. I really liked this book. I really liked the era, the feel of the time, the description of the surroundings. What a great mystery/thriller it was of a decent pace, keeps your interest, no cheesy endings or copied scenarios. Just a really great read of a girl stuck in the middle of things. Really liked it, would recommend it to anyone.
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Readers of Persia's 1920s novels know they're in for a fast-paced trip through one of the most fascinating periods in U.S. history, the Jazz Age. In designing her stories, and developing her characters, Persia draws upon her theatrical training as well as her journalistic experience.

She has worked for The Associated Press and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. She lived in Europe for many years and
More about Persia Walker...

Other Books in the Series

The Lanie Price Mystery Novels (2 books)
  • Darkness and the Devil Behind Me
Harlem Redux Darkness and the Devil Behind Me Dark Tales: Four Ghastly Tales of Ghostly Murder In Asbury Park, Someone Lies Waiting Harlem Redux: A Novel

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