Soft Money: A Starred Review

Soft Money

By Teresa L. Jacobsen
Library Journal
August 2013

Ex-detective Filomena Buscarsela quit the NYPD when she became a single mother, but she’s still investigating with a passion-for free. In this outing, first published in 1999, she’s helping friends figure out who murdered a favorite local shopkeeper. Meanwhile, at her day job, a clerical position at an environmental-issues nonprofit, Filomena has uncovered an embezzlement scheme that merits the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attention. Before long, Fil and her ragtag team (a couple of independent-minded cops, a neighborhood shaman, and an EPA insider, among others) close in on both cases but not before some exciting moments. At some point, Fil is going to acknowledge she’s still a cop.

VERDICT: We liked it in 1999, and we still like it. Social issues may have changed slightly, but Wishnia’s tone is timely, his voices authentic, and his pacing superb. This is the second title in a series (after 23 Shades of Black ) that PM Press is in the process of re-releasing, and it includes a new introduction by author Gary Phillips.

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