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Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: The Victim Syndicate by James Tynion IV, et. al.
Bird & Squirrel All or Nothing by James Burks
Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely and Lisa Reneé Pitts (Narrator)
The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman and George Guidall (Narrator) (re-read)
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman and Emily Rankin (Narrator)
Candy Slain Murder by Maddie Day and Laural Merlington (Narrator)
The Dachshund Wears Prada by Stefanie London
Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass
Endangered Species by Nevada Barr and Cindy Williams (Narrator)
Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Harlem Sunset by Nekesa Afia and Shayna Small (Narrator)
Heartstopper: Volume Four by Alice Oseman
Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed
Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy
Into the Woods by J. Torres and Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
The Marvelous by Claire Kann
Murder Is No Picnic by Amy Pershing and Patti Murin (Narrator)
My Dress-Up Darling, Volume 3 by Shinichi Fukuda
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 14 by Adachitoka
Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods by Catherynne M. Valente
Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
Pint of No Return by Dana Mentink and Stephanie Nemeth-Parker (narrator)
Poultrygeist by Eric Geron and Pete Oswald (Illustrator)
The Sacred Bridge by Anne Hillerman
The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly and Emily Durante (Narrator)
Spy x Family, Volume 6 by Tatsuya Endo
The Suite Spot by Trish Doller
This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds by Danielle Belleny and Stephanie D Singleton (Illustrator)
Yokohama Station SF National by Yuba Isukari, Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Illustrator), and Stephen Paul (Translator)

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Blanche on the Lam: 10/15/22

Blanche on the Lam

Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely and Lisa Reneé Pitts (Narrator) (1992) is the first book in the Blanche White mystery series. Blanche ends up in the employ of a murderer when she flees from an unfair prison sentence for a bounced check.

The murder takes place in the family's summer house. She's oddly the only domestic taken to this second location, the regulars given time off. She's working for a timid acting woman (Grace), her snobbish husband (Everett), a man with Down's Syndrome (Mumsfield), and a drunk elderly woman (Emmeline). Before anything even happens, Blanche knows something is off with this family.

Soon, though, Blanche is facing news of multiple murders and she knows one of her employers did it. She's also stuck, though, because of her circumstances, and because she's Black. Her only ally is Mumsfield, who like Blanche is essentially invisible due to his disability. He, though, is just as observant as Blanche and together they're able to identify the murderer.

Blanche on the Lam feels really dated and I kept having to remind myself, that it is a thirty-year-old mystery. It's natural for it to feel dated. The biggest difference is Blanche's reliance on the phone in her employers' kitchen as this is a decade before the ubiquitous cellphone. There's also no internet — no way for her to research her employer or call for an Uber if she needs to escape. She's essentially trapped and left to her own wits and strength to save herself.

The second book is Blanche Among the Talented Tenth (1994).

Five stars

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