Author; Andrea C. Kaluzny

ISBN: 9781482042863

Hired Gun in Philadelphia is called an “interactive” novel for good reason: readers will feel all along that they are participating in solving a couple of gruesome, graphic murders. People familiar with Philadelphia will recognize it and people who have never been to the city will feel like they have been. The author’s style is smart, concise, often humorous and always directly on point. Her extensive experience in the relevant fields and obvious talent for linquistics further enhance a riveting plot.  Besides the murder mystery, the story involves the smuggling of a drug developed to enhance sexual prowess, cock fighting, tango dancing and travel. The narrator, Daria is trained as a lawyer who actually earns her living as a document reviewer.

Here is a sample of Daria’s darkly funny perspective on her life:

Daria knew there were moments in life when one feels one has lived too long. She had one such moment the other day she needed a junk food fix from the vending machine in the kitchen and found most items were making health claims about containing antioxidants or protein and  no transfat. This was another such moment, where a drug dealer showed pride in his merchandise, following the contemporary organic food trend. What next?

Fair trade principles, ensuring  little Third World drug growers would get their fair share of the profits?” (p. 86) 

And sometimes her words  literally dance as when she describes her love of the tango:

Over the years she had enjoyed some true masters bringing the music to life, making her actually  see the music and almost feel their movements in her own body in magical performances. Even for great masters this was rare and hard to achieve, but when they did, it had been an experience that defied description.  Daria’s heart had stood still and raced all at he same time. Even just witnessing them reach deep into their bag of tricks sent shivers down her spine. She savored their artistic footwork at its most elaborate, sometimes at lightening speed. She had experienced dancers who truly still enjoyed dancing, having fun and savoring the moment. Yes, Daria had become a tango performance addict.  The more she learned from these masters, the more she could appreciate the subtleties, and the more beautiful even the understated performances could be. Some might call it poetry in motion, but in light of the real thing, this description was nothing but an old empty cliché. Yes she had been to milongas but never to dance, just to learn and to experience true artistry.” (pp. 20-21)

So I highly recommend readers experience this author’s true literary artistry and accompany Daria on this multi-faceted and fascinating murder investigation.


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