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Only the Wicked: An Ivan Monk Mystery (Book Four) based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
In Los Angeles' Abyssinia barbershop, Marshall Spears is the oldest of the regulars who regularly meet there. When he becomes excited over a radio interview of former Negro League baseball player, Kennesaw Riles, Ivan Monk takes notice especially since the interviewee is a relative. However, everyone in the shop that day takes notice when Marshall suddenly drops dead. Monk and his associates try to do the right thing for Marshall, but are amazed to learn that he was a former baseball player. At his funeral, several of his old teammates including Kennesaw arrive to pay their respect. A few days later, Kennesaw is dead and police officer Rogers believes someone murdered him because he died from taking too much dioxin. Since it appears that the culprit knew the victim, Rogers turns towards Monk's mother Nona who had the motive and the means. Nona, a nurse, never forgave Kennesaw for lying on the witness stand against a rising black politician. Monk, a private detective, begins to make inquiries into the death of his relative. What makes the Monk mysteries magnificent is the rich characterizations that allow the audience an opportunity to deeply look inside an African-American community. Besides telling a fabulous investigative tale, Gary Phillips talent lies in his ability to bring home the needs, desires, and ambitions of that community through the real people he describes. The latest tale, ONLY THE WICKED, contains a superb story line that includes a well written sleuthing adventure and homage to the Negro Leagues with references to baseball players like the original Flash, Cool Papa Bell. As usual, Mr. Phillips provides fans with a great trash-talking novel. Harriet Klausner