Tags: sara gran


Book Review: The Infinite Blacktop, by Sara Gran

Claire DeWitt, the world's greatest detective, is Nancy Drew if Nancy grew up to be an angry loner with a drug problem.

The Infinite Highway

Atria Books, 2018, 290 pages

Claire DeWitt, the hard-living and tough-talking private investigator, has always been something of a detective. As a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, Claire and her two best friends, Tracy and Kelly, fell under the spell of the book Detection by legendary French detective Jacques Silette. The three solved many cases together and were inseparable - until the day Tracy vanished without a trace. That is still the only case Claire ever failed to solve.

Later, in her 20s, Claire is in Los Angeles trying to get her PI license by taking on a cold case that has stumped the LAPD. She hunts for the real story behind the death of a washed-up painter 10 years earlier, whose successful and widely admired artist girlfriend had died a few months before him.

Today, Claire is on her way to Las Vegas from San Francisco when she’s almost killed by a homicidal driver. In a haze of drugs and injuries, she struggles off the scene, determined to find her would-be killer’s identity - but the list of people who would be happy to see her dead is not a short one.

As these three narratives converge, some mysteries are solved and others continue to haunt. But Claire, battered and bruised, continues her search for the answer to the biggest mystery of all: what is the purpose of our lives, and how can anyone survive in a world so clearly designed to break our hearts again and again?

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Also by Sara Gran: My reviews of Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead and Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway.

My complete list of book reviews.

Book Review: Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway, by Sara Gran

Claire DeWitt is back, investigating the murder of an ex and doing way too many drugs.

Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013, 288 pages

When Paul Casablancas, Claire DeWitt’s ex-boyfriend and a popular musician in the Bay Area scene, is found dead in his apartment, his cherished guitars missing, the police are convinced it’s a simple robbery. But Claire knows that nothing is ever simple. With the help of her new assistant, Claude, Claire follows the clues, finding hints to Paul’s fate in her other cases - especially a long-ago missing girl in New York’s gritty East Village and a modern-day miniature-horse theft in Marin.

As visions of the past reveal the secrets of the present, Claire begins to understand the words of the enigmatic French detective Jacques Silette: "The detective won't know what he is capable of until he encounters a mystery that pierces his own heart." And love, in all its forms, is the greatest mystery of all - at least to the world’s greatest P.I.

With a heroine hailed as "a charmer" (New York Times Book Review), from an author who "reminds me why I fell in love with the genre" (Laura Lippman), this is an addictive new adventure for an irresistible detective.

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Also by Sara Gran: My review of Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead.

My complete list of book reviews.

Book Review: Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, by Sara Gran

The world's greatest detective uses drugs, the I Ching, and an old French book to solve a missing persons case in New Orleans.

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, 273 pages

Claire DeWitt is not your average private investigator. She has brilliant skills of deduction and is an ace at discovering evidence. But Claire also uses her dreams, omens, and mind-expanding herbs to help her solve mysteries, and relies on Dètection-the only book published by the great and mysterious French detective Jacques Silette before his death.

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Verdict: Claire DeWitt joins Joanna Brady, Amelia Peabody, Precious Ramotswe, and Ellie McEnroe as one of my favorite lady detectives. I wasn't really interested in this book when it showed up as an Audible Daily Deal, but some positive reviews convinced me to give a try, and I'm glad I did. It's right on the borderline, but I'm adding it to my Highly Recommended list for anyone who likes detective mysteries.

My complete list of book reviews.