A Talba Wallis Novel By night the glamorous Baroness de Pontalba, by day New Orleans' hippest P.I., Talba Wallis is dumbfounded when she can't do a simple background check on an old friend--Babalu Maya just doesn't seem to exist on paper. Four days later, she doesn't exist at all. As Talba threads her way backward through Babalu's short, difficult life, she finds an intricate pattern of violence and fear, and a shadowy Mr. Big with homicidal intent. Talba butts right into everybody's business in Clayton, Louisiana, a small town with a big, ugly secret, where being black, mouthy, and smart are the three qualities most likely to get her killed. As she uncovers dark truths, events and people spiral into nasty motion in a story that has more twists and turns than the Mississippi River.