THE PORN STAR, THE MURDERER, AND THE DISAPPEARING WIFE…
Those are just a few of the family members Oakland P.I. Jeri Howard finds herself investigating in a puzzling missing persons case that sprawls throughout the grittier sections of Northern California. For a woman who told her husband she had no relatives, Renee Foster’s actually well-stocked with them….and doozies at that. The whole family—criminals, abusers, and kindly aunts alike-- comes alive in Janet Dawson’s first novel, prompting the New York Times to hail it as “a welcome addition to this tough genre.”
There’s clearly a lot more here than the simple matter of a wife disappearing with the grocery money. Smelling a rat or two right from the beginning of this complex and intriguing mystery, the red-haired private detective follows many a twisty trail as Dawson weaves an equally twisty tale, which, to the reader’s delight, just keeps winding back on itself, revealing brand new secrets as fast as ancient skeletons can fall out of closets.
Dawson’s Oakland is damp and properly sinister and Jeri’s as savvy as Sam Spade, with something of Spade’s seen-it-all outlook. What she doesn't know, her chic lawyer pal, Cassie, can supply; and her cop ex-husband’s on hand to make trouble.
As winner of Private Eye Writers of America’s jointly sponsored contest with St. Martin’s Press for Best First Private Eye Novel, KINDRED CRIMES was a sensation even before it was published. It quickly went on to garner Shamus, Anthony, and Macavity nominations.
Fans of female sleuths like Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone will particularly enjoy it, as well as aficionados of Marcia Muller’s fellow Bay Area detective, Sharon McCone.
“Dawson keeps suspense and interest at high pitch.” --Publishers Weekly
“A satisfyingly complex and multilayered novel. . . A wonderfully told and compelling story from a writer who’s in complete control – as is her heroine – from start to finish.” --- The Denver Post.
“An auspicious debut.”-- New York Daily News
“Dawson writes believable dialogue, creates quickly realized and appealing characters and has a particularly nice atmospheric touch.” --San Francisco Examiner