The multicolored crowd that whirled in and out of the rooms in Tyler’s house was like something from another world, or perhaps several worlds—part Amish, part Woodstock, part pioneer. Children ran yelling and shrieking among the knees and the furniture, dogs wandered in and were thrown out into the rain, the smells of bread and spaghetti sauce and wood smoke mingled with wet clothing, underwashed bodies, and the occasional aura of stale marijuana. Tyler had given the police three rooms downstairs, furnished with a motley collection of tables and desks, where they prepared to take statements. Kate stood in the main room—the hall—with its fifteen-foot ceilings and the floor space of an average house, and wondered how Hawkin intended to proceed with a murder investigation in this chaos. For the first time she was very grateful that he, not she, was in charge.
Read Laurie’s blog post on writing A Grave Talent.
Join in the VBC discussion of this book.
Download a reading group guide here.
Buy It Here
Signed or not, here’s where you can buy the book.
What they say
If there is a new P. D. James lurking in this stack of [new] books, I would put my money on Laurie R. King, whose A Grave Talent kept me reading deep into the night. (Boston Globe)
Inspector Alonzo Hawkin is assigned to coordinate investigations into the strangulation deaths of two Bay Area little girls and the disappearance of another, the daughter of a politically connected family. He is told to take Kate Martinelli as his assistant for PR reasons. … It is almost certain that the child-killer is a resident of [Tyler’s Road] and suspicion falls on a haunting artist with a murder conviction in her past. (Booklist, starred review)
In an ironic twist, King, who is heterosexual, has created one of the more functional and believable lesbian detectives.” (outbiz.com)
An omniscient narrator endows this amazing first novel with intelligence, intrigue, and intricacy. The serial murders of three kindergarten-aged girls test the uncomfortable relationship between a crusty San Francisco detective and his new female partner, both known for their independence. Eventually, unforeseen complications involving a remarkable artist’s past and an evil stalker’s secretive present force the pair into confrontation, and they learn to trust. This work exhibits strong psychological undertones, compelling urgency, and dramatic action. A necessary purchase and a writer to watch. (Library Journal)
Kate’s employers, the SFPD
The nearest city to Tyler’s Road is Santa Cruz
And the park above the Road, where Andy catches a ride
For where Vaun chooses to go on her day out
For a bibliography and Laurie’s suggestions to teacher and book groups, click here.
Read about a Grave Talent mystery
For the Virtual Book Club discussion of A Grave Talent
At play on San Francisco Bay
Russian Hill, San Francisco
Alcatraz from Russian Hill