RARA-AVIS: British Noir--Cath Staincliffe

From: Joy Matkowski ( jmatkowski1@comcast.net)
Date: 17 Aug 2002

Sal Kilkenny of Manchester established a private investigation business under the auspices of an employment project of the British equivalent of the Small Business Administration. _Stone Cold Red Hot_ details how she manages to rent a large, comfortable house and arrange childcare for her sometimes odd hours on her modest income (has a co-tenant as well as a roomer) and acquire office space (rents a neighbor's basement).
    Her cases are on a small scale, too. In this book, she looks for a man's older sister, who went off to college decades ago and vanished, and she is hired by a government social agency to amass evidence against some neo-Nazi thugs who are harassing a Somali refugee family in public housing.* The appalling outcomes of her cases are made all the more horrifying by Sal's matter-of-fact voice and her step-by-step approach.

Joy, who wonders if any Britnoir is set in Aberdeen

*I'm getting the overall impression from these books so far that a great deal--most?--living quarters in the UK are public housing. Also, both PIs I read are female.

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