Rae Valentine

Created by Mike Nicol & Joanne Hichens

RAE VALENTINE first popped up in Out To Score (2006), co-written by Mike Nicol and Joanne Hichens in a small cameo, and showed up again in 2009’s Cape Greed (this time credited to “Sam Cole,” a joint pen name for Nicol and Hichens),again in a supporting role.

But when she returns in Divine Justice (2011), written solely by Hichens, she’s the star of the show (it’s even billed as “A Rae Valentine Mystery”), a one-legged black woman, sometime motivational speaker and reformed junkie now working as a newly licensed private investigator in Cape Town, South Africa, trying like hell to keep her boyfriend Mullet Mendes‘ detective agency from going under. It doesn’t help that his partner, Vince Saldana, has a major problem with booze.

By the time of the next book, 2015’s Sweet Paradise, it’s all moot — Rae and Mullet have split, she’s been fired from the agency, and she’s flying solo.

Anyone looking for a nice, well-behaved cozy in an exotic setting ought to stay clear of this series — the depiction of Cape Town and South Africa is a dark, hellish landscape, full of graft, corruption and treachery — and even environment seems suicidal.

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Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.



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