Put Liz Brady on your shelf next to Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, and Sara Paretsky. Her investigative journalist Jane Yeats is as feisty as any Stephanie Plum or V.I. Warshawski. The debut novel in which Yeats appeared, Sudden Blow, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel from the Crime Writers of Canada. In her second outing, Bad Date, the true crime free-lancer takes lessons in Prostitution 101. The breezy crime caper will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the mean back streets of Toronto. Bad Date takes Wright's instruction to cherchez la hooker to the extreme. What do you do when the hooker turns out to be the next door neighbor and her body turns up on your front lawn looking like "a Modigliani nude in serious distress?" If you're Jane, you get yourself a mentor from the Sex Workers Alliance of Toronto (SWAT); you get a makeover with "major curb appeal" from Miss Lucy's Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls; and you go out on "the stroll."
You also try to find out who has a serious "hate-on for hookers" and is responsible for the unsolved double digit murders of Toronto prostitutes. This means you have to go through cold case files and wade through a pile of Department of Justice reports. It also means you have to confront Quasimodo, the "Satan spawn" who doubles as your neighbor's pimp and drug dealer. Comic relief in the novel is provided by several scenes with Jane's "hypervibrant" mother, a "brassy smoker" who opens her club Sweet Dreams dressed as Opryland's Minnie Pearl. There are also walk-ons by k.d.lang and John Wayne Bobbitt. Despite the general grim nature of the subject of Bad Date, Brady manages to temper the tawdriness with an astute sense of social consciousness. Jane Yeats should have a long shelf life. Robert Allen Papinchak
(Books in Canada) -- Books in Canada
About the Author
Liz Brady, an editor for twenty years, has a Ph.D. in Virginia Woolf from the University of London. Apart from the fact that they both live in Toronto, Liz Brady refuses to divulge which attributes she shares with her sleuth.