Edgar Award-winner Julie Smith returns to the bewitching streets of New Orleans with the smartest, sassiest, hippest detective ever-the Baroness Pontalba. Meet the snazziest P.I. in the land. Not by accident does she roam America's jazziest city, New Orleans. By day she is Talba Wallis: smart, sassy, ebony, and a fledgling detective. By night she is the Baroness Pontalba: poet laureate of the city's smoky rooms, matron saint of her town's exotic and multi-colorful café society. Goaded into a day gig by her pushy mom, she finds herself employed by Eddie Valentino, and Talba is plunged into a world of fame, money, and power run amok, hunting a man who seduces teenage black girls and may be making them disappear. At the same time she is haunted by disturbing near-memories. Her forgotten past only emerges when violence enters her life-but not, she learns, for the first time.