Marleen's Reviews > A Trouble of Fools

A Trouble of Fools by Linda Barnes
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Apr 08, 12

bookshelves: audiobooks, linda-barnes
Read from March 25 to April 07, 2012

Having read and enjoyed several of the later Carlotta Carlye books, I thought I'd start at the beginning of the series. I just adore Carlotta as a character. She’s so solid, while being human and a bit flawed at the same time. She’s my all-time favorite female, P.I. She’s gutsy, resourceful, funny and most of all she’s honourable. Carlotta’s such a stand-up person and a loyal friend. I like it that she’s plays Blues guitar and listens to Bonnie Raitt and Billie Holiday. I thought it was quite funny that in this book I also discovered that, like me, she doesn’t like nail polish, she doesn’t like earrings, and so never wears those.
All things considered I think it’s important to do the series justice and read it in the right order. Characters develop, relationships develop, and authors develop. I think this first book clearly lays the ground-work at depicting Carlotta’s important relationships with the people that matter in life: her entourage that will be there with her till the very last book. There’s Mooney, the cop and ex-colleague, Gloria, the co-owner of a cab company G&W, where Carlotta works on and off; Paulina, her ‘adopted’ little sister; Roz, her eccentric artist tenant; and finally Sam, her on-and-off-again lover and heir apparent of the Gianelli mob-family.
The other important character in this series is definitely the city of Boston. Now I’ve visited Boston a few times, but as soon as I read a Carlotta book, I want to go back to better explore and feel this unique city. I want be on the streets while Carlotta drives her cab, or drives her old red Toyota doing her PI work. Most of time I am enthralled by the gritty language, the down-and-dirty description of the Boston streets, the no-nonsense tone.
As a first book goes, it's a solid one. No wonder that Linda Barnes won the Edgar Award back in 1987 for Best novel with this one. The plot kept me captivated and entertained. While investigating a missing persons case, Carlotta accidently stumbles upon a group of Irish-American cabbies, all over 50, who may be running money and guns for the now severely restricted IRA. Carlotta finds herself in very deep trouble indeed, the kind that can easily end in murder. Only because Carlotta is so extremely street-smart, resourceful and knows who she can rely on for assistance, is she able to resolve this more than messy situation, and unmasking the real culprit.
This is a perfect book to devour one lazy afternoon while shutting the rest of the world out.
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